SSN: University of Tennessee Head Coach Terminated

Eric Bedrosian

Jeremy Pruitt, the now former head coach of Tennessee football, has been terminated after an internal investigation by the NCAA. Pruitt went out with one of the worst tenures in the university’s history and will certainly not be remembered for his 16-19 0verall record.

Pruitt was terminated on January 18th after a two-week investigation led by the NCAA in coordination with the school’s athletic department. In a internal document to Pruitt from the university, the department told him that “Your failures are likely to lead to significant penalties to the university and has jeopardized the eligibility of our student athletes.” The beginning of the investigation began during the final game of the season when it was announced that Pruitt and others among the coaching staff would be under investigation for alleged recruiting violations. This has been seen at other universities, including a few years ago at the University of Louisville.

“We take seriously our institutional commitment to NCAA compliance and are reviewing regulatory issues that have been brought to our attention,” Tennessee director of news and information Tyra Haag said. “As part of that process, we are currently working with attorneys Kyle Skillman and Michael Glazier with Bond, Schoeneck & King. We will provide additional information when it’s appropriate.”

Pruitt is not the only member on the coaching staff being terminated after the conclusion of the investigation Assistants Shelton Felton and Brian Niedermeyer are also out. Niedermeyer was Tennessee’s top recruiter and served as the inside linebacker’s coach. Felton served as the outside linebackers coach.

The university will begin it’s search for a new athletic director and coaching staff soon. Fulmer was already planning to retire and he has no connections to the investigations as the former athletic director. He will play a role in the ongoing search process.

Although Pruitt will be losing his 12.6 million in compensation due to his contract violation, it looks like he will be making up for that money in an unlikely organization: the NFL. Joe Judge of the New York Giants has already hired Pruitt on an unnamed position and it is currently unknown when his coaching responsibilities will begin to take shape.

Story by Eric Bedrosian.