Jeremy Pruitt receives scathing termination letter from Tennessee, strong comments from Chancellor
Tennessee is facing Level I and Level II NCAA violations following an internal investigation that has led the school to fire 10 employees including coach Jeremy Pruitt, Chancellor Donde Plowman announced at a press conference on Monday.
“Your failures are likely to lead to significant penalties to the University and has jeopardized the eligibility of our student athletes,” the termination letter stated, per David Ubben of The Athletic.
Plowman announced at the press conference that the investigation revealed information that was triggered by a credible source, which led the school to fire Pruitt, along with assistant coaches Brian Niedermeyer and Shelton Felton, four members of the on-campus football recruiting staff, the director and assistant director of football player personnel and a football analyst/quality control coach.
“While the investigation is continuing, the information presented to us indicates serious violations of NCAA rules,” she said. “And that these serious infractions warrant immediate action. … The information provided today indicates a significant number of serious NCAA rules violations. … The personnel actions we are announcing today are an indication of the gravity of what we’ve discovered.”
Plowman said as leader of the football program, Pruitt is responsible for hiring coaches and staff and making sure those people comply with NCAA rules.
“This is written into his employment contract,” she said. “In addition, under the NCAA by-laws he is presumed responsible for the actions of all staff members who report to him, either directly or indirectly … Based upon what we know, it is clear that Coach Pruitt did not adequately promote an atmosphere of compliance and/or monitor the activities of the coaches and the staff who reported to him.”