By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Volunteers decided to cut ties with Pruitt because of a lack of compliance with the NCAA. It’s believed that the football program could potentially be hit with NCAA violations.
In addition to Pruitt being fired, athletic director Philip Fulmer was forced into retirement. The team also fired several assistant coaches, along with their entire recruiting staff.
Other termination letters included:
- Assistant coaches Brian Niedermeyer and Shelton Felton
- Four members of the on-campus football recruiting staff
- Director & Assistant Director of Football Player Personnel
- Football Analyst and Quality Control Coach
“We are deeply disappointed in the activities that led to the action taken today regarding Coach Pruitt,” Volunteers Chancellor Donde Plowman said. “We are proud of the great history and traditions of our football program, and we will restore integrity and win at a championship level.”
The school announced that they have been investigating the matters since November when the school received a report about violations within the football program. Bond, Schoeneck & King then began an investigation into the matter.
Tennessee received information on Friday that showed ‘serious violations of NCAA rules occurred.’ The report also signaled that Pruitt did not live up to his expectations as head coach.
“What is so disturbing, as demonstrated by the scope of these actions, is the number of violations and people involved and their efforts to conceal their activities from our compliance staff and the Athletic department’s leaders,” Plowman noted. “Despite a strong compliance culture in our athletic department, we must look for ways to further strengthen our processes. We deeply regret the impact this may have on our many student-athletes, particularly the vast majority of our football players who have had no involvement in this matter at all.”
The school has begun a search to find its new head coach.
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