Jeremy Pruitt’s nanny added to the Tennessee football recruiting scandal
Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt fired amid NCAA investigation
Jeremy Pruitt was fired for cause Monday after an investigation revealed evidence of multiple violations of NCAA Level I and II recruiting rules.
By Angela M. Gosnell, Knoxville News Sentinel
Buried in a 108-page document in response to the NCAA In announcing the allegations, the university mentioned that Pruitt’s babysitter was instructed to give the UT player’s mother money for a car payment.
This is a new discovery that was not included in the NCAA’s announcement of the allegations in July.
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The original report alleged that Pruitt, the fired UT coach, and wife Casey provided nearly $60,000 in cash or gifts to players and their families; assistant coaches Derrick Ensley, Shelton Felton and Brian Niedermayer; set by Drew Hughes, Bethany Gunn and Chantrice Boone; and an unnamed booster from 2018-21.
The NCAA claims they committed 18 Level 1 Violationsthe most serious in its four-tiered system.
According to UT’s response to the NCAA, Jeremy Pruitt paid a recruit’s mother $6,000 for a down payment on a 2017 Nissan Armada. He pledged payment during fall 2018 recruitment and paid $6,000 on December 26, 2018.
The unnamed player’s mother told investigators that Pruitt told her to “pick whatever I want and he’ll pay.” Investigators confirmed this through the car dealership.
How Pruitt’s Babysitter Helped Pay the Player’s Mom
This is where the nanny came in.
The recruit enrolled at UT to play football. And from January 28, 2019 to March 26, 2021, Pruitt made 25 monthly payments of $500 for the car. The last two payments came after UT fired Pruitt in January 2021.
The player’s mother told investigators she received the money from Casey Pruitt or Pruitt’s nanny at Pruitt’s home. In addition, Casey Pruitt occasionally delivered money to her residence.
Those car payments make up a significant portion of the incentives and impermissible benefits paid to UT players and recruits, the NCAA report said.
It also alleged that Casey Pruitt paid $3,000 in rent cash to an unnamed UT player and his mother from September 2018 to March 2021. The gifts started during the prospect’s recruitment and continued after he enrolled and played for the Vols.
In a separate violation, the NCAA alleges Casey Pruitt arranged for a real estate agent to meet with the recruit’s family.
Casey Pruitt’s involvement in the allegations was eye-opening. Before marrying Jeremy, she worked in NCAA compliance at Troy University, Florida State, and Oklahoma State.
Contact Adam Sparks at [email protected] and on Twitter @AdamSparks.
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