Jeremy Pruitt Had His Wife Handing Out Payments To Recruits, According to NCAA Documents

Sports Illustrated — Former Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt, his wife and several members of his football staff provided about $60,000 of impermissible benefits and recruiting inducements to more than two dozen recruits and their families over a three-year period, according to a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, a copy of which was obtained by Sports Illustrated through a public records request.

We now have a bit more information regarding the NCAA violations that have been hanging over Tennessee since Jeremy Pruitt and his staff were dismissed in January 2021, as the NCAA has sent the University its Notice of Allegations. There are 18 violations in all, totaling about $60,000 — which does seem a bit ridiculous now that the going rate for a five-star quarterback is more than 100 times that and it's legal, but whatever.

There's nothing too earth-shattering in there — Jeremy Pruitt and the Tennessee staff were paying for meals and hotel rooms while recruiting during the Covid dead period — but one detail is pretty funny. Pruitt had his wife, Casey, in on the bit as well, doling out payments to kids for apartments and other various expenses.

The ninth person charged with violations, Pruitt’s wife Casey, allegedly made cash payments of at least $2,000 to recruits and their families. Casey once worked in NCAA rules compliance at Troy University, her alma mater, and Florida State.

Pruitt was hands-on and so was his wife, paying recruits and their families more than $12,000 in cash combined, according to the allegations. Casey Pruitt also arranged for representatives to give a recruit’s mother a tour of rental homes in the Knoxville area and provided $1,600 to one prospect for a security deposit and first month’s rent. Staff members, including Jeremy Pruitt, paid seven current football players $1,300 to host prospects during the dead period.

Say what you will about Jeremy Pruitt, but everybody deserves a wife as down for the cause as Casey. She's a Vol For Life in my book. Jeremy may not have been a good enough head coach to get it done in the SEC, but he, his wife and his staff were at least trying to win at all costs. That counts for something.

I'll never get over the terrible brand of losing football I had to watch for three seasons, but getting his wife to moonlight as a bag man honestly raises my opinion of Jeremy Pruitt a little bit.

Thankfully, Tennessee did enough to avoid being hit with the "lack of institutional control" charge from the NCAA and seems likely to avoid any severe penalties. What an era of Vols football.