Jeremy Pruitt asks NCAA to do 'what's right' for Cade Mays and all athletes requiring waiver to play this season
If only Cade Mays was a quarterback.
Jeremy Pruitt didn’t go that far during his most recent media availability but he did use his time speaking with reporters to ask for the NCAA to do what should be done with all players needing a waiver in order to play this season.
Here is what the Tennessee coach had to say when asked about the latest with Mays’ waiver on Thursday evening, and specifically, if he had reached out to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey regarding the waiver for Mays.
“I have specifically not spoken to Greg about it. I obviously have spoken to William King (SEC Associate Commissioner for Legal Affairs and Compliance), who represents the football side,” Pruitt answered. “I know how this goes. There’s all kinds of policies, right? And rules that have been voted on over the years. I understand that the time that some of these rules were voted on, why they were. Here’s the but though, with what’s going on in our country right now – over the last six months with a pandemic – there’s probably not one family in America that has not suffered in the last six months. It’s unusual times.”
While it’s fair to question Pruitt’s motives for wishing to see his lineman gain eligibility this season, the Tennessee coach makes a good point when referencing the mental well-being of all athletes during this unique time in our country’s history.
“To me, there’s a big part of all of this that I’ve been very concerned about – with all of our players and all of our young people, is mental health,” Pruitt continued. “I can’t imagine being a child from five or six to age 25 or 30 that they feel like their youth is being taken away, the things that they’re used to doing. So, with that, we’ve got everybody that’s playing NCAA football this year, their eligibility doesn’t count.
“So, everybody on our team can come back and play another year. A senior can be a senior again, a freshman can be a freshman again. This is not just about Cade. I would say everybody that tried to transfer, to me, it would be foolish for anybody that’s capable of enabling this, it would be foolish of us not to do that just for what’s right.”
We’ve seen similar comments out of Oxford from Lane Kiffin and from Mark Stoops in Lexington regarding players they are still trying to get eligible for the coming season.
At the end of the day, letting these players take the field immediately isn’t asking for that much, Pruitt is just asking for the powers that be to do the right thing.