Former Tennessee Volunteers head coach Jeremy Pruitt was hit with a pretty hefty penalty last week when the NCAA gave him a six-year show-cause penalty for his part in the recruiting scandal that included 18 of the NCAA’s highest-level violations and 200 individual infractions. And now, his defense has become public – and it’s pretty wild.
In the case filings from the NCAA investigation, Jeremy Pruitt used racial inequity and the high-profile killings of Black people to explain why he gave a player’s mother $300 in a Chick-fil-A bag.
“Then you throw in George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, okay, so you sit there as a white man and you see all of this going on and you can see these kids suffering,” Pruitt said in the filings, according to the Knoxville New Sentinel. “… (It’s) pitiful when you sit in a room and you hear grown men, and I’m talking about our coaches too, when they talk about growing up and the circumstances that they’ve been under, because it’s hard for a white man to understand, right.”
Pruitt claimed that he did not regret doing this, either.
“I would do it again because I don’t think it’s breaking the rules (based on what would’ve been available through UT’s Student Assistance Fund if not for the pandemic),” Pruitt said. “I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve got little kids, and I hope one of these days when I’m dead and gone that somebody does the right thing for them.”