Tennessee athletic director Phil Fulmer is retiring now that the program has discovered recruiting violations that allegedly occurred under former head coach Jeremy Pruitt. According to Dan Patrick, Vols assistants gave recruits McDonald’s bags stuffed with cash. While the university fired Pruitt for cause in an attempt to avoid his $12 million buyout — though Pruitt’s not going away quietly — they’re not being quite as stringent with Fulmer.
The University of Tennessee told writer Trey Wallace that they will pay Fulmer $37.5K per month for nearly three years:
The University of Tennessee has released this statement to me regarding the future compensation of AD Phillip Fulmer, when he steps away from position.
They “anticipate” paying him this through December 31, 2023. pic.twitter.com/wXu8xdMaH6
— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) January 20, 2021
That amount adds up to $450,000 per year, which means that Fulmer will receive about half of his salary for that time.
Fulmer is a legend at Tennessee. He was the head coach during the Peyton Manning years, and he won the national title in 1998 after Manning left. However, it still feels a bit icky to hold the head coach 100 percent accountable for actions that were traced to his subordinates, and not apply the same standard to the AD.