Former Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has been the thorn in the side of the University of Tennessee and Vols fans for three years. After being fired from Tennessee in 2021 after an in-house investigation of giving recruits money for them to attend the university.
Well, it turns out that according to Pruitt, his reasons for giving out money to recruits is more altruistic.
EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Pruitt told investigators that George Floyd was on his mind when he gave a Tennessee player’s mom $300 in a Chick-fil-A bag, documents reveal.— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) July 17, 2023
And he said much more. https://t.co/MLEW1A1Xp7
First of all...what? Like...what? You’re going to solve the systemic racism happening in America by giving recruits $300 in Chick-fil-A bags? Like that all feels just very very funny to me. You go coach, end racism with $300.
Second, the details here aren’t exactly painting the NCAA in a very good light. From Adam Sparks:
Pruitt said a player’s mother showed up in the parking lot outside the UT football complex in tears because of financial hardship. She told him she had nowhere else to turn for money to pay her bills. Pruitt admitted giving her the cash from his car, where he typically stored it. He told investigators that he felt sorry for her because of the financial strain caused by the COVID shutdown and that UT’s Student Assistance Fund, which is used for student-athletes with hardships, was tapped out. And Pruitt said his privilege, her race and social unrest were on his mind.
The university not having enough money from the NCAA is an entirely different conversation we can have, but Pruitt deciding to be Knoxville’s Mr. Moneybags is hilarious when you consider how foolishly he was holding this money around. Chick-fil-A bags? And you’re trying to DEFEAT racism? Come on man, dead giveaway. According to Sparks, Pruitt would walk around with wads of cash in his pockets, 75 four or five-figure amounts to be exact.
Way to keep the feds off you, Jeremy. Nobody will ever suspect you withdrawing thousands of dollars out of your account in cash just to walk around like Scrooge McDuck. Pruitt is probably looking at the NIL moves universities are making now and screaming into a void, he was doing it first (albeit sloppily).