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Tennessee Fans Are Furious With Phil Fulmer's Statement Tonight

A Tennessee football player holding up his helmet before a game.

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 7: A Tennessee Volunteer holds up his helmet in the team huddle before the NCAA football game against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at Neyland Stadium on September 7, 2002 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee won 26-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Tennessee Director of Athletics Phil Fulmer may have just indicated the head coaching future of the Volunteers heading into next season.

After finishing the year with a disappointing 3-7 record, most of Tennessee nation feels it's time the program moved on from head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Aside from a solid 8-5 season and Gator Bowl victory in 2019, Pruitt's three-year tenure has been marred with losing records. A 16-19 overall record simply doesn't cut it for a high-profile SEC program like UT.

However, it seems as though the Volunteers expect to keep Pruitt in Knoxville at least for another year. Fulmer's statements regarding UT's Liberty Bowl game bid had some strong indicators of the head coach's job security.

“I’m thrilled about our football program’s opportunity to compete in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against a great opponent like West Virginia,” Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer said. “First, it’s an opportunity to connect with our many fans throughout West Tennessee and expand upon the rich historical links between the Memphis area and UT. We have so much Tennessee family in and around Memphis—especially our medical school and fantastic alumni. And secondly, it’s a tremendous development opportunity for our team and should serve as a primer to spring practice for Coach Pruitt and our returners.”

That final statement pretty much confirmed Volunteer fans' greatest fear. Pruitt is all but confirmed to return to Knoxville next spring.

The UT faithful took to Twitter to voice their discontent.

Jeremy Pruitt and the Volunteers will face off against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Autozone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.