While Jeremy Pruitt, Phillip Fulmer accepted reduced salaries, several Tennessee assistants reportedly declined pay cuts
Just when it looked like Tennessee was going to avoid any embarrassment this weekend, something new emerges to be upset about on Rocky Top.
Tennessee was scheduled to host Texas A&M this weekend but that game was postponed to Dec. 19 due to the fact the Aggies did not have enough scholarship players ready to play thanks to contact tracing protocols after two members of the program tested positive for the virus after traveling to last weekend’s game at South Carolina.
While that should be the biggest story in Knoxville at the moment, that’s changed in a hurry as Blake Toppmeyer of the Knoxville News Sentinel reports that eight members of Tennessee’s full-time coaching staff have declined pay cuts to help the school’s budget following the COVID pandemic has affected the finances on The Hill.
It’s worth noting that both Jeremy Pruitt and Phillip Fulmer both accepted reduced salaries this year to help the school deal with the financial burden brought on by the COVID pandemic.
However, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the only Tennessee assistants that were willing to accept pay cuts were running backs coach Jay Graham and receivers coach Tee Martin. Of course, those are the only two coaches on staff in Knoxville that played for Tennessee.
That means offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley, offensive line coach Will Friend, quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke, inside linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer, outside linebackers coach Shelton Felton, tight ends coach Joe Osovet and head strength and conditioning coach A.J. Artis all said no to the pay cuts.
Tennessee is expecting to lose $40 million this year in total revenue following the pandemic.