Paul Myerberg places Jeremy Pruitt on a hot seat.
The wreck that is Tennessee might find its latest scapegoat in Pruitt, who is floundering in his second season while former coach and current athletics director Phil Fulmer looms over the program. The issues are too numerous to list in full. A short list: Tennessee is losing by huge margins to rivals, most recently Florida; is losing to teams the program has no business losing to, such as Georgia State; can’t find an offensive identity and has been unable to develop talent from well-regarded recruiting classes; and is constantly tripped up by the sort of errors that reflect poorly on the coaching staff.
It hasn’t been a good week, or a good month or a good season, for that matter. But the big man claims to have Pruitt’s back.
Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer, who led the Vols to a national championship in 1998 as head coach, said Wednesday he has no desire to return to the sideline and that the “coaching chapter of my life is closed.”
Fulmer, 69, made an appearance on the syndicated Vol Calls radio program and also spoke with ESPN.
“We’ve got a good football coach, and I believe in Jeremy Pruitt totally,” Fulmer said. “I have no interest in coaching again and would rather spend that time being a grandfather and doing whatever I can as athletic director in helping Jeremy get this program where we all want it to be. Any talk of me coaching again is just a bunch of rumors.”
That’s cool, but I wonder if the tune will sound different after UT gets through Georgia and Alabama in the next three weeks.