The Tennessee football situation grew very ugly, very quickly. In wake of Jeremy Pruitt's firing, Dan Patrick has some pretty crazy details into the level of recruiting violations that were taking place in Knoxville.
On Monday, after weeks of speculation, the Vols announced that Pruitt is out. The decision comes amid an NCAA investigation into the program, though Pruitt's 16-19 record certainly didn't help matters.
Dan Patrick, citing his SEC sources, detailed one of the ways in which Pruitt's Tennessee football staff allegedly paid recruits. Among the most brazen ways was to give out money hidden in McDonald's bags. He discussed the situation this morning.
"I asked my source, I said 'How did they get these assistant coaches on recruiting violations?' And he said 'Well, they put money into McDonald's bags and gave them to the recruits when they came on campus.' Some of the campus visits were not organized or they were not above board, but they were handing out cash...I don't know if it was through the drive-through. But you had bagmen who would put the cash in McDonald's bags and handed it to recruits. My source said they were so in-your-face with this, they weren't even trying to hide it, and that's where my source said Tennessee has gotten sloppy, Georgia has gotten sloppy, but there is no word that the NCAA is looking at Georgia."
That Georgia bit at the end is also very interesting. UGA is clearly in a very different place as a program than Tennessee, with Kirby Smart turning the Dawgs into a true national contender most years.
As for the newest opening in the SEC, Patrick confirmed that Peyton Manning will be involved in the search. He shot down the idea of Hugh Freeze landing the job. Given Freeze's NCAA issues from his Ole Miss tenure, and that isn't surprising. He also named an interesting candidate with deep Tennessee roots: former Vols standout Jason Witten.
"I was told Hugh Freeze was not getting the job. I was told that this is more of the SEC...blocking the possibility of Hugh Freeze coaching Tennessee."
Whomever the Vols hire, this isn't the end of the standoff between Jeremy Pruitt and his now-former employer. It certainly sounds like we'll have a court battle to settle whether Tennessee was within its rights to fire him for cause. [
Source: Tennessee #Vols got sloppy with recruiting. They were handing recruits cash in McDonald's bags when they visited campus.
Also a name to look out for to fill the Head Coaching vacancy: Jason Witten pic.twitter.com/HKDd02rldz
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) January 19, 2021
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