Many fans are puzzled as to how former Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt and his idiotic group of NCAA outlaws could have cheated on their Power T’s without the Director of Athletics. time, Phillip Fulmer, does detect something rotten in Vol Nation.
The Tennessee internal investigation cleared Fulmer of any wrongdoing in a cheating scandal that resulted in the Vols being charged with 18 NCAA Level 1 violations. He didn’t even receive a reprimand and was allowed to “retire” with a hefty severance package.
But how did he not notice that something was wrong for three years?
Perhaps because he trusted Pruitt to run a clean operation, just as he trusted him to revitalize UT’s struggling program. After all, Pruitt had been a top assistant coach at top programs like Alabama, Florida State and Georgia. (Sarcasm alert) Surely these schools would not have tolerated an assistant coach who played fast and loose with NCAA rules.
After: What Tennessee football and former coach Jeremy Pruitt could get in NCAA penalties
After: Why Tennessee football could avoid NCAA hammer in Jeremy Pruitt recruiting scandal
After: NCAA says Casey Pruitt paid players for Tennessee football. Here’s what we know
Another reason Fulmer might not have suspected his coaches were cheating: they were losing. A lot.
Pruitt lost his first game as UT coach to West Virginia by 26 points. He lost his last game against Texas A&M by 21 points. He lost another 17 games between the two for a three-year record of 16-19. This included 13 losses by more than 20 points.
Hugh Freeze is remembered for coaching Ole Miss on NCAA probation. But his cheating was not for nothing. He had a 10-win season and beat Alabama twice. Isn’t that how cheating is supposed to work?
Pruitt couldn’t even beat Georgia State’s 25-point underdog at Neyland Stadium. The way he was losing, Fulmer probably assumed he was running the cleanest program in the SEC.
A third reason Fulmer may not have known that Pruitt and his team were rewarding rookies with more than a scholarship: He was just too busy.
Never mind that Fulmer was a successful football coach at UT. AD work was a new adventure, and it probably needed more time to perform simple tasks than an experienced administrator could have handled quickly and efficiently.
I tried to imagine how long an average work day could take Fulmer. Here is what I found:
9h00-9h15: Arrive at the office and review the “personal notes” from the previous workday. Circle and underline the note that reads: “Ignore email request from Jeremy’s wife, Casey, for his own office at the Athletic Department.”
9:16 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Coffee break.
9:31 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.: Read John Adams’ column on knoxnews.com.
9:40 a.m.: Spit out coffee and swear so loudly that the administrative assistant walks into the office and asks, “Is everything okay, Coach?” »
9h46-11h: Watch video from the fourth quarter of Tennessee’s last-second victory over Syracuse to open the 1998 season.
1:01 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Take a nap during a meeting with baseball coach Tony Vitello and men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes.
1:31 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.: Watch the fourth quarter of Tennessee’s victory over Arkansas in 1998.
2:11-2:25 p.m.: Decide which coach jacket, baseball cap and shorts to wear to football practice.
2:26 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Practice whistling.
2:31 p.m.: Block Casey Pruitt’s emails without reading: “With all the money I deliver to recruits, I don’t just need an office. I need an office with an ATM.”
2:32 p.m.-3 p.m.: Walk to the training ground.
3:01 p.m.: Whistle so loud, assistant coach Brian Niedermeyer nearly knocks over a bag of cash which he hands to a UT freshman watching practice.
3:02 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Take detailed notes while watching offensive line practice.
4:01-4:43 p.m.: Walk from the driving range to the office.
4:44 p.m.-5:14 p.m.: Watch the last 30 minutes of Tennessee’s victory over Florida in 1998.
5:15-5:57 p.m.: Take detailed notes while watching the offensive line practice video.
5:58-6:58: Watch the final hour of Tennessee’s victory over Florida State for the 1998 national championship.
6:59-7:10 p.m.: Write “personal notes” for tomorrow, including one that says, “Ask Jeremy how recruiting is going.”
John Adams is senior columnist. He can be reached at 865-342-6284 or email@example.com
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: How did Phillip Fulmer not know Tennessee Vols was cheating?
#Phillip #Fulmer #notice #Tennessee #Vols #cheating #Heres #Adam