Rick Barnes fires back at Jeremy Pruitt after lawyer's threat to file suit
Rick Barnes is not pleased with Jeremy Pruitt.
The current Tennessee basketball coach has made a strong statement about the former Volunteers football coach after Pruitt’s lawyer implied the UT basketball program has been involved in recruiting violations.
“I’m really disappointed that Jeremy would throw people’s names around that he knows did nothing but support him the entire time he was here and make these unsubstantiated claims,” Barnes said in a statement to ESPN’s Chris Low. “I would invite the NCAA to come in any day of the week and investigate our program. I have too much respect for our players, our school and our administration for somebody to ever think we were not doing things right here and make such ridiculous statements.
“Jeremy is not here because of the decisions he made and the way he led his program. Here’s what I know: Our university has done everything it possibly can in working with the NCAA to clean up the mess he left behind and bring this to closure.”
Pruitt is back in the headlines after the Knox News Sentinel reported that the former coach’s lawyer Michael Lyons has set an ultimatum for a settlement to be reached by Oct. 29 or a lawsuit will be filed.
In his letter, Lyons requested that Tennessee and its employees preserve “all documents and communications regarding impermissible benefits provided by UT donors to student athletes” and the “use of any Foundation or organization in connection with providing benefits to student athletes or recruits.” He also requested the preservation of documents related to Volunteers basketball coach Rick Barnes, former athletic director Phillip Fulmer, former football assistant coaches, specific boosters and other individuals.
We’ll see if this situation continues to get messier.