NCAA Hands Down Punishment
The NCAA has handed down its punishment to the University of Tennessee for infractions committed by former head football coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff. That punishment includes the biggest fine ever in the history of the NCAA. The NCAA acknowledged that the university self-reported the infractions and did its own investigation. The NCAA also stated in their report that the infractions, which they called some of the most serious ever, were not committed by the program but by the coaches and staff. Pruitt and his staff were accused of 18 recruitment violations. Most of the violations revolved around cash and gifts Pruitt and his staff gave to potential players. Those gifts totaled up to about $60,000.
While the university of Tennessee escaped the penalty of being excluded from postseason play, the school will be a lot lighter in the wallet with $8 million in fines. The NCAA also ordered that UT face five years of probation and a reduction in football scholarships by a total of 28 during the five-year period, that includes at least two scholarships each year.
As for Jeremy Pruitt, the NCAA handed him a six-year show-cause order. That basically means that should Pruitt become employed in an athletic position by another NCAA school during that show-cause order, he will be subject to a suspension of 100% of the first season of his employment. So, anyone who hires Pruitt will not have him for a full year.
Tennessee has not responded to the NCAA decision at this time, but are expected to issue a response soon.