May 29, 2024

Ex-Tennessee football coach cited death of George Floyd, others as reason for helping players: report

Jeremy Pruitt Cites George Floyd's Death For NCAA Violations – OutKick

Last week, the Tennessee Volunteers football program received significant penalties for more than 200 infractions committed while head coach Jeremy Pruitt was in charge.

Pruitt’s justification for some of the actions he was found to have taken in violation of NCAA regulations seemed to be supported by fresh information that was disclosed in a Knox News story on Monday. Through FOIA requests, the outlet was able to obtain some of the details.

Pruitt admitted to investigators that when he assisted a player’s mother with some bills, he was contemplating the passing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. According to Pruitt, the woman had come to him begging for assistance due to financial difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Then you throw in George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, okay, so you sit there as a white man and you see all of this going on and you can see these kids suffering,” Pruitt told investigators through Knox News.

“… (It’s) pitiful when you sit in a room and you hear grown men, and I’m talking about our coaches too, when they talk about growing up and the circumstances that they’ve been under, because it’s hard for a white man to understand, right.”

Based on what the university’s student assistance fund would have done in a similar circumstance if the nation had not been in the midst of a pandemic, Pruitt stated he would have done it again and did not believe he was breaking the law. There were reports that there wasn’t enough money in the student assistance fund, which helps students in need.

Following the NCAA’s determination that Tennessee’s program had committed over 200 infractions during the three years under Pruitt, including 18 Level I violations, the organization fined the program $8 million. Most involved recruiting violations and direct payments to athletes and their families, according to the NCAA report. The benefits came to approximately $60,000.

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