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Jeremy Pruitt Violations as Tennessee HC Outlined in NCAA Notice of Allegations

Adam WellsJuly 22, 2022

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Tennessee's football program has been hit with 18 NCAA infractions stemming from rules violations under former head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Per an official notice of allegations obtained by Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, the NCAA contends Pruitt and his coaching staff gave players cash and gifts over the course of his tenure with the program from 2018 to 2020.

Casey Pruitt, Jeremy's wife, is said to have paid more than $15,000 in rent and car payments on behalf of one Vols player and the player's mother for more than 2.5 years.

All 18 violations facing the program are Level I, which is considered the most serious on the NCAA infractions structure.

Jeremy and Casey Pruitt, assistant coaches Derrick Ansley, Shelton Felton and Brian Niedermeyer, and recruiting staff members Drew Hughes, Bethany Gunn and Chantryce Boone are all named in the report as having allegedly violated NCAA rules.

Tennessee opened an investigation into potential NCAA violations involving the football program in November 2020.

The school announced last November it wrapped up the investigation and would "work to finalize a fair and efficient resolution through the applicable process while navigating a rapidly changing landscape in intercollegiate athletics that includes transformative change for the NCAA, the Alston decision and significant new name, image and likeness rights for our student-athletes."

The school's investigation found evidence of multiple Level I and Level II NCAA recruiting violations.

Pruitt was fired as Vols head coach for cause in Jan. 2021 as a result of the investigation. The decision to fire him for cause meant the university didn't have to pay a $12.6 million buyout in his contract, per Blake Toppmeyer of the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The other coaches and recruiting staff members who were named in the NCAA report were either fired by Tennessee or left after the school opened its investigation.

Pruitt was hired by the Volunteers in December 2017, one month after Butch Jones was fired by the program. The 48-year-old spent the previous two seasons as Alabama's defensive coordinator before taking over at Tennessee.

In three seasons with Pruitt as head coach, the Vols went 16-19 overall (10-16 in the SEC). He spent the 2021 season as a senior defensive assistant with the New York Giants, but the team did not retain him after it fired Joe Judge.

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