Jeremy Pruitt addresses phone call with officer during Jeremy Banks' arrest video
When a video of the arrest of Tennessee’s Jeremy Banks recently emerged, it wasn’t just the sophomore Volunteer who had to explain his actions. UT head coach Jeremy Pruitt was on the receiving end of some harsh criticism for his reaction to Banks’ arrest. The video included officers talking to Pruitt. The early Sunday morning call wasn’t the best look for the second-year head coach. Pruitt appeared to question the necessity of the arrest and imply that football players get special treatment from police at other programs where he has worked at (Alabama, Florida State, Georgia).
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 2, 2019
The video emerged on Tuesday night. With the SEC holding its weekly media teleconference on Wednesday, it’s not surprising that Pruitt was asked about Banks’ arrest and his comments.
Here’s what Pruitt told media members:
- On Jeremy Banks: You know, as I’ve said before, Jeremy’s comments and behavior were unacceptable and we’ve addressed the matter internally.
- On his phone call comments: You know, when you get a phone call at 3:30 in the morning you are always going to take it. To be honest, when I got the phone call, I had no idea who I was talking to for the first two minutes. By the time I got it figured out, obviously some confusion because it was late but I appreciate the officer talking to me and doing his job.
- On saying he’s never had something happen like this – was he saying police would have cut players a break at other places and that’s his expectation? No, absolutely not. There’s no place I’ve ever worked where anyone has cut anyone a break. The point was the warrant was issued for five weeks or four weeks there and I wasn’t aware of it. That’s something we have got to do a better job of, focusing on our players so you don’t have a speeding ticket or anything that turns into something like this. We have got to do a better job as a staff, we have got to have a relationship to get it figured out.
- Had he seen the video before? As I said before, Jeremy’s comments and behavior were unacceptable, we’ve addressed it and that’s all I’m going to say about that.