The NCAA was tough on the former Tennessee Volunteers football coach jeremy pruitt on Friday after finding more than 200 individual violations committed by the school during his three years as head coach.
The Division I Infractions Committee’s decision comes after Tennessee received a notice of allegation last July detailing 18 Level I rule violations against the football program under Pruitt and his staff.
Pruitt was fired in January 2021 after three seasons following an internal university investigation.
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The committee said the former head coach «failed to monitor his staff when at least a dozen football staff members committed more than 200 violations of NCAA rules over a two-year period and did not self-report any of those violations.»
Pruitt received a six-year ban for good cause, meaning he would be suspended for a full season if he was signed by another NCAA school.
«During the head coach’s tenure, he and other members of his staff acted with a general and flagrant disregard for rule enforcement,» the panel said.
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Tennessee avoided a postseason ban in the decision, but they will be placed on five years’ probation, fined $8 million, and their soccer scholarships will be reduced by 28 during their five years of probation.
The panel stated that the violations «resulted in incentives and impermissible benefits totaling approximately $60,000.»
Three other former staff members also received sanctions for good cause.
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Most of the violations stemmed from an «unofficial paid visiting scheme» that was used by the soccer program over a two-year period.
It involved at least a dozen soccer personnel and included at least «110 prohibited hotel room nights, 180 prohibited meals, 72 prohibited entertainment or other benefits, 41 prohibited recruiting contacts, 37 prohibited of impermissible parking on game day, and 14 times equipment was impermissibly provided to prospects.»
Two prospects also received cash payments from the former head coach and/or his wife, according to the report.
The Volunteers are coming off an 11-2 season under head coach jose huelpelthe first season with double-digit wins since 2007.