NCAA exposes major scandal in Tennessee when Jeremy Pruitt reportedly offered recruits improper financial benefits FirstSportz

Jeremy Pruitt
Jeremy Pruitt

The NCAA just stumbled upon a huge scandal committed by one of the college’s top institutes. Former Tennessee soccer coach Jeremy Pruit and other members of his coaching staff offered up to $60,000 worth of improper benefits, all prohibited by league rules, and other inducements to sell over two dozen over a three-year period to recruit athletes. According to an official NCAA allegation release, Pruitt first spoke to the athletes and their families, then broadcast the benefits in a way that wasn’t easy to notice.

SI managed to get their hands on some of the essential documents in this matter. The 51-page document, sent to the school on Friday, highlights 18 instances where the coach recruited misconduct. The earliest case can be traced back to September 2018. Things got worse when the pandemic hit when there was no authority to keep track of coaches.

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Jeremy Pruitt’s wife is also involved in the scandal:

Jeremy Pruitt
Jeremy Pruitt

Pruitt is accused of offering the mothers of two prospects nearly $9,000, his wife is accused of making over 25 cash payments of $12,500 to help a prospect’s mother make her payments. Tennessee, which fired Pruit in January 2021 following its internal investigation into the allegations, has not yet been charged with lack of institutional oversight due to its cooperation with investigators. The NCAA issued a notice of allegations that was sent to the university, and it appears the college sidestepped the main obstacle by avoiding institutional oversight fees.

Sources point out that Tennessee has already self-imposed nearly 12 scholarship cuts in the past year, along with other recruitment restrictions. The university hired former NCAA investigator Michael Glazier and the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King to assist in its internal investigation, paying nearly $1.1 million for the investigation. Pruitt was bought for $12.6 million, but he was fired for cause and the university reportedly has no intention of buying him.

Coach Pruitt issued a statement, “A lot of this information in the NCAA report is new to me and I’m still reading through it. Beyond that, I’d rather not comment much other than to say I look forward to telling my side of the story sometime later.”

The league says up to 12 athletes who received improper benefits played in over 60 games and all were “ineligible.” Coach Pruitt was also accused of failing to foster an atmosphere of compliance and not monitoring his staff. He is also charged with violating the NCAA principles of ethical conduct “He knowingly arranged, offered and provided improper inducements and additional benefits in the form of improper hospitality and cash payments to numerous individuals, prospective and enrolled athletic students and their family members or individuals associated with prospective athletic students.” the notice stated.

The NCAA also accused the coach of putting six recruits and their families on programs over a one-year period that were not supposed to include on-campus recruiting activities because we were at the height of COVID at the time. The recruits reportedly received $12,000 in benefits.

Casey Pruitt, the coach’s wife, paid nearly $3,200 to an anonymous person to post bail and an initial rent payment in order to move to Tennessee. She has experience in compliance departments in Troy, Oklahoma and Florida State, where she met Jeremy Pruitt.

Jeremy Pruitt
Jeremy Pruitt

Tennessee and everyone named in the report has 90 days to respond to notification of any allegations. NCAA staff then have 60 days to respond. A source claims we can’t expect the case to be fully decided until 2023.

Coach Pruitt was 16-19 in Tennessee and went 10-16 against SEC opponents. His team was 2-11 against AP-ranked opponents, who served as senior defensive analyst for the Giants in his first year as coach in 2021.

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Subhankar Mondal

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