On Friday, the Tennessee Vols received their notice of allegations related to the Jeremy Pruitt recruiting scandal that rocked the program in late 2020.
Pruitt, along with several of his assistants, was fired with cause (forfeiting his $12 million buyout) as a result of the investigation.
The former Vols head coach gave a statement to ESPN this weekend about the notice of allegations. And it’s obvious from Pruitt’s comments that he isn’t ready to take full blame for the rules that were broken.
“A lot of this information in the NCAA’s report, I’m seeing for the first time and still reading through it,” said Pruitt. “I’d rather not comment a whole lot past that, other than to say that I’m looking forward to telling my side of the story somewhere down the road.”
Pruitt said he’s looking forward to sharing his side of the story, but I bet we never hear an explanation from him.
That comment reminds me of Greg Schiano saying he would one day tell his side of the story in regards to Tennessee’s 2017 coaching search and the fan revolt that prevented Schiano from becoming the head coach at UT.
We’ve never heard from Schiano.
Pruitt also threatened to sue Tennessee last fall over his buyout. Nothing has ever come from that, either.
That’s likely because the notice of allegations from the NCAA clearly shows that Pruitt took part in providing recruits with impermissible benefits. UT was absolutely justified in firing Pruitt with cause. He would have almost zero chance of winning a lawsuit against the Vols. And Tennessee has absolutely no reason to give Pruitt any sort of settlement.
If Pruitt wants to save his reputation, he should speak about the investigation openly and honestly. Continuing to deflect and deny is only going to make him look more foolish.
Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel, Knoxville News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services