NCAA Hands Out 18 Violations to Tennessee Football Program
Among other allegations, Pruitt is accused of providing about $9,000 to the mothers of two prospects. His wife, Casey, is accused of making 25 cash payments totaling about $12,500 to help a prospect’s mother make her car payment.A recent report from ESPN.com detailed the violations, fines, and illegal benefits gained by the Tennessee football program under Pruitt.
Below is an excerpt from the ESPN.com report.
Sources told ESPN that Tennessee had already self-imposed 12 scholarship reductions last year as well as other recruiting restrictions. The school also made the decision not to self-impose a bowl ban last year because it didn’t want to penalize current coaches, staff members or players in the program who had nothing to do with the allegations.
“In every step of this process, we took quick and decisive actions that exemplified the longstanding values of the NCAA reiterated in the membership’s new constitution,” Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman said in a statement. “The university hired outside counsel to fully investigate allegations about the football program, acted promptly to terminate the employment of football coaches and staff members, and shared our conclusions with the NCAA enforcement staff.”The university retained former NCAA investigator Michael Glazier and the Bond, Schoeneck & King law firm to assist in the university’s internal investigation and paid $1.1 million to the firm, which conducted interviews from November 2020 through February 2022. Pruitt’s buyout was $12.6 million, but the university fired him for cause and has said it has no plans to pay the buyout.
Pruitt issued a response to ESPN about the allegations later Friday, saying: “A lot of this information in the NCAA’s report, I’m seeing for the first time and still reading through it. 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.”
The NCAA also charged Tennessee with failure to “adequately monitor its football program’s arrangement of unofficial visits and to ensure compliance with NCAA recruiting legislation.”
In its report, the NCAA said that as many as 12 Tennessee athletes who received impermissible benefits competed in more than 60 games, and those athletes, according to the NCAA, were “ineligible.”
To read the full report from ESPN.com, click here.