Tennessee has received its final punishment for the recruiting violations committed under Jeremy Pruitt’s watch. The investigation spanned nearly three years, but we finally have a final answer.
The biggest piece of this? Tennessee will AVOID a bowl ban. It never seemed to be on the table, considering how the University handled everything, but you never know with the NCAA.
Tennessee will receive five years probation and a reduction of 28 total scholarships during that span of time. Tennessee has already self-imposed 18 scholarship reductions over the last three recruiting cycles, so only ten remain.
Jeremy Pruitt receives a six-year show cause.
Tennessee will be docked 36 official visits over the next five years. They will be fined $8 million.
Per Volquest, the notice of allegations charged Tennessee with 18 Level 1 infractions.
In the notice of allegations, the program was charged with 18 Level I infractions. Those infractions included that almost $60,000 of cash or gifts provided to players and their families by Pruitt, his wife, numerous coaches, recruiting staff, and at least one booster. (Volquest)
Tennessee was charged with failure to monitor. However, the quick action to fire Pruitt and his entire staff helped Tennessee avoid harsher punishment. Donde Plowman moved on from then AD Phillip Fulmer, hiring Danny White in a tough spot. Frankly, looking back, she did masterful work to drag Tennessee out of the ashes.
The University clearly had some idea of what was coming and has taken proactive steps to avoid disaster. This was a bit of a black cloud hanging over the 2021 coaching search, which resulted in White hiring his guy from UCF, Josh Heupel. Following that, you can’t ask for a better couple of years of Tennessee football, all things considered.
Tennessee athletics certainly is now in much better hands. Now we can finally put all this behind us.