What do ex-Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt and Chick-fil-A have to do with each other? After the latest finding in the NCAA’s notice of allegations against Pruitt for recruiting violations, apparently, a whole lot.
No, Pruitt wasn’t paying potential recruits in chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. The fired Tennessee football coach was handing over money to players’ parents in Chick-fil-A bags, according to Mike Wilson of the Knoxville News Sentinel.
“Pruitt received a phone call from the mother of a Tennessee player in August 2020. He met the woman outside the football facility on campus, where she asked him for money, the document states.
Pruitt went to his car, where he had cash, and gave her the either $300 or $400 in a Chick-fil-A bag because “it was the human thing, the right thing to do,” Pruitt told investigators during a March 7, 2022 interview.”
The mother of a Tennessee football player met Jeremy Pruitt outside the university’s football facility, where she asked the coach for money.
Pruitt then went to his car to get the cash and gave the woman about $300 or $400 in a Chick-fil-A bag. The ex-Tennessee football coach told investigators he did this because it “was the human thing, the right thing to do.”
The Chick-fil-A money bag was a part of 18 recruiting violations levied against the university and Pruitt, who allegedly doled out $12,707 in “impermissible benefits”, as well as another $3000 to assist the Volunteers players’ mother with a “delinquent medical bill” in January of 2019.
Dan Patrick, who reported in January 2021 that “money changed hands in McDonald’s bags”, was evidently not far off.
The university discovered these violations in December of 2020. Tennessee disputed five of the 18 Level I violations in their 108-page response.
However, the university pushed back on the notion that they failed to monitor the football program”, saying that they were deceived by Jeremy Pruitt.