Tennessee Football Pauses Extensions and New Hires During Investigation

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There’s more tough news for Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt. On Wednesday, ESPN’s Chris Low said it would be “difficult” for Pruitt to keep his job. Today, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reports that new coaching staff hirings have been paused and current assistants haven’t gotten extensions amidst a probe about possible recruiting violations. From the story:

“Last month, ESPN reported that compliance department officials had interviewed current players, recruits, assistant coaches, student volunteers and other athletics department officials involved in football recruiting. The sources said the interviews started in November. The sources told ESPN that Tennessee’s recruitment of Amarius Mims, the No. 3 offensive tackle and No. 19 player overall in the 2021 ESPN 300, is part of the compliance department’s inquiry. Mims signed with Georgia. Sophomore tailback Eric Gray, the team’s leading rusher with 772 yards and four touchdowns, was also held out of the regular-season finale against Texas A&M for undisclosed reasons. Sources told ESPN that Gray’s absence was related to the compliance inquiry.”

The story notes that running backs coach Tee Martin and ILB coach Brian Niedermeyer have expiring contracts that haven’t been renewed, and there are two additional vacancies on the staff after DL coach Jimm Brunaugh was fired during the season and offensive line coach Will Friend joined Shane Beamer’s staff at South Carolina. Those vacancies have not been fulfilled.

If this is it for Pruitt, where does Tennessee go from here?

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. If Georgis turned in TN because they tried to match Georgia’s “offer” for Sims, and it (and other findings) results in Pruitt losing his job “for cause” and getting a show-cause, and not getting his $13mm buy-out, hold on to your hat. Pruitt, Martin, Niedermeyer, others may blow the lid off of the “truth” about college football coaching/recruiting. I think everyone knows/assumes it, but just wait til they start outlining the details for what they’re doing for/to these kids. Trust me, Lori Laughlin ain’t got nothin’ on these schemes. And this all before NIL kicks in. Update/modernize the rules, or treat everyone the same in the wild-west of recruiting. UGA should be very worried about the fate of UT.

    • Agreed. I just assume every team is doing something untoward. Be it grades related or outright money payments (here is looking at the Rat King Coach K and Zion Williamson) there is something rotten in Denmark.

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