Tennessee’s leaders have made it very clear they don’t plan on paying Jeremy Pruitt’s large buyout following the coach’s dismissal on Rocky Top following an internal investigation into recruiting violations that occurred under the coach’s watch.

That being said, that doesn’t mean Pruitt won’t end up getting a check from Tennessee at some point.

If you were unaware, if a coach is fired “for cause” as outlined in their contract, they are not entitled to their buyout. Pruitt’s buyout called for him to make over $12 million should Tennessee fire him after the 2020 football season.

While Pruitt may have been fired “for cause,” the coach has hired an attorney in order to fight the allegations made against him by Tennessee.

During his most recent appearance on Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM radio show The Roundtable, ESPN host Paul Finebaum was asked if he thought Pruitt would end up receiving some of his buyout from Tennessee.

“Yes. Because it’s an old adage that sometimes it costs more money to go to court than it does to settle,” Finebaum responded on the show. “What you get sometimes in a settlement, you get a clause in there that prohibits the other person from talking about it. And in some ways, they don’t need Jeremy Pruitt to go out and start talking because you know he’s bitter.

“Everyone’s talked to somebody from his camp and feels like he’s been wronged and it looks like (Tennessee) was just trying to save money. If you calculate the publicity versus what they would have, what it would have cost them to write him a check on Day 1, Tennessee is losing that game pretty badly. At some point, cooler heads will prevail, they’ll write him a check, he’ll go away and he won’t talk about it. Maybe one day this thing will go away with less damage than what it looks like.”

If Tennessee really did go out of its way to dig up dirt on Pruitt, as some believe, that strategy may end up blowing up in the program’s face if Finebaum is proven to be correct.