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Sources: Tennessee expected to fire coach Jeremy Pruitt

Pete Thamel
·2-min read

Changes are coming at the University of Tennessee.

Sources told Yahoo Sports on Monday that the school is expected to fire coach Jeremy Pruitt. Tennessee is amid an internal investigation into alleged recruiting issues that led to Pruitt's inevitable fate.

The future of athletic director Phil Fulmer will also be addressed Monday, with a source indicating that retirement is a possibility. It’s unlikely that Fulmer will be involved in the hiring of a new coach, as Tennessee officials want to start over with alignment between their coach and athletic director for the long term.

Pruitt’s firing ends his tenure at 16-19 in three seasons, but his hire and time at the school will be remembered more for the dysfunction that surrounded it. Pruitt came to Tennessee only after the school ran off athletic director John Currie and pulled a job offer from Greg Schiano during a coaching search that's regarded as one of the most disastrous in the history of the sport. That allowed Fulmer to take power and set the table for this sputtering era.

Adding to the administrative mess, Tennessee gave both Fulmer and Pruitt extensions within the last year. Both of them had no market or competition for their services, which complicated the school's ability to part ways with them.

Pruitt’s buyout with Tennessee is north of $12 million, but the internal investigation is expected to at least mitigate some of that as the school is expected to attempt to fire him for cause.

In a statement about the investigation into Tennessee football’s recruiting, a UT spokeperson said earlier this month: “We take seriously our institutional commitment to NCAA compliance and are reviewing regulatory issues that have been brought to our attention.”

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt watches during the second half of a game against Mississippi State on Oct. 12, 2019. (AP)
Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt watches during the second half of a game against Mississippi State on Oct. 12, 2019. (AP)

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