Officials at Tennessee have put hiring in the football program on hold as they investigate potential recruiting violations, ESPN reported Thursday.
The university said earlier this week that it was bringing in prominent outside attorneys Mike Glazier and Kyle Skillman to assist in the investigation about alleged rules violations, including improper benefits.
And now, Tennessee isn’t extending the contracts of assistant football coaches and isn’t hiring for vacancies on the staff of coach Jeremy Pruitt, ESPN said. Assistant coaches in limbo include inside linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer and running backs coach Tee Martin.
The Volunteers also need to hire an offensive line coach after the departure of Will Friend and the firing of defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh during the 2020 season.
There is growing speculation that Pruitt could be ousted by Tennessee as the investigation ramps us. The Volunteers were 3-7 in 2020, and Pruitt has a 16-19 record in three seasons.
ESPN said the investigation began in November and that one of the focuses is the recruitment of Amarius Mims, a five-star tackle in the Class of 2021 who signed with Georgia. The outlet also said that tailback Eric Gray didn’t play in the Volunteers’ season finale against Texas A&M because of the investigation.
Gray led the team with 772 rushing yards.