Tennessee Fires 9 More Football Staff Members, Kevin Steele Is Acting Head Coach

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Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman and outgoing Athletics Director Phil Fulmer gave a press conference today after they announced that they are firing Jeremy Pruitt for cause over alleged recruiting violations. Among the notable moments from the press conference:

  • Nine additional football staff members were fired by Tennessee relating to this investigation. These included tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer and outside linebackers coach Shelton Felton
  • Kevin Steele, who played at Tennessee and started his coaching career there about 40 years ago, will be the acting head coach. Steele was most recently the defensive coordinator at Auburn.

Chancellor Plowman went out of her way to praise Fulmer in this press conference for his service to Tennessee and to say that he had know knowledge of rule-breaking. Fulmer said that in light of these issues with Pruitt he felt it best to step aside so that the new coach could have continuity with the new Athletic Director and they would be on the same page.

Here is Tennessee’s termination letter to Pruitt:

The questions from here become whether the NCAA will levy any penalties on Tennessee after they’ve conducted their own investigation and fired the coach and nine subordinates, and if Tennessee will have their new Athletic Director quickly enough to hire a coach for next season — or if Steele will still have the interim tag through next Fall.


Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. The rest of the coaches in the conference better hope that between the UT, Jimmy Sexton and Sankey/SEC/Disney, they ante up and pay Pruitt his buy-out and enter into an NDA, or he could blow the whole place up. Either change the rules, or enforce them equitably and consistently I’ll assure you Pruitt and Neidermeyer’s schemes for “helping players/families” aren’t unique to TN. Kirby;Garner, others better be sleeping with one eye open. This all came out via some texts on the phones on the girls in the recruiting office. They pulled one thread and ended up in the whole spinning room. I’ll assure you it’s the same at most every SEC school, and if they aren’t careful, Pruitt (and others) will blow the lid off the whole place He’ll go quietly back to his holler in north Alabama and dare people to come see him. The NCAA Basketball/Adidas scandal referenced in your other article this morning is child’s play compared to what really goes on!

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