When it comes to any future in college football coaching, clearly Jeremy Pruitt’s run out of fucks to give.
The lawyer representing former Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt gave UT an ultimatum this month: Either reach a settlement with Pruitt by Oct. 29, or face a lawsuit that the lawyer claims has the potential to “cripple UT’s athletic programs for years.”
The university intends to stand its ground, with no plans to settle, promising a “vigorous defense” if Pruitt chooses to go to court. A lawsuit is a certainty if there’s no settlement, said Michael Lyons, Pruitt’s Texas-based lawyer, in an interview Tuesday with the USA TODAY Network.
“On behalf of my client, I can tell you that he’s not happy that this is the only choice they’ve left him with,” Lyons said, “but he’s not going to walk away without getting his day in court.”
“He’s going to file a lawsuit,” Lyons added. “They’re not leaving him much choice.”
Here’s the zero fucks part:
Lyons’ letter made no attempt to defend Pruitt, but instead threatened a lawsuit that would aim to embarrass the university and unmask widespread rule-breaking behavior Lyons alleges extends above and beyond Pruitt’s football staff…
Lyons made several broad assertions in his letter to UT that are not supported with details in his letter, writing that his law firm unearthed “startling information” that points toward NCAA rule-breaking conduct dating back several years and across multiple sports.
Lyons alleges that university administrators ignored or covered up NCAA violations occurring before and during the Pruitt era, and he wrote that UT’s administration was involved in or encouraged impermissible recruiting tactics. Lyons wrote that his firm has learned of impermissible booster involvement in recruiting across multiple sports.
“If Coach Pruitt is forced to file a lawsuit,” Lyons wrote, “it is inevitable that this information will become public, embarrass UT and those associated with it, including its largest donors, and result in debilitating NCAA sanctions.”
A potential lawsuit, Lyons wrote, is a “no-win situation” for Tennessee. [Emphasis added.]
Ummm… is it possible to bring anything new to the table that would embarrass UT? We’re going from a meteor game to a meteor lawsuit, except that, unlike the game, both sides can lose in discovery. And I’m all here for it.
Pruitt’s lawyer is the same dude who helped David Beaty prevail against Kansas. The problems he’s got here are that he doesn’t have Jeff Long on the other side and he’s already admitting his client’s hands aren’t exactly pristine.
Speaking of less than pristine, Pruitt’s former boss is having a sad.
“The days I interviewed each candidate for the head football coaching position at the University of Tennessee, including Jeremy Pruitt, I emphasized that you did not have to cheat to win at the University of Tennessee and that cheating would not be tolerated,” Fulmer told ESPN. “Jeremy has no one to blame but himself for his firing from UT. He had a great opportunity at a great university, and he simply screwed it up.”
He wasn’t the only person at UT who simply screwed up. I hope Jeremy’s attorney has a little dirt to share on Phil. Unleash the popcorn bags!