On Monday, Tennessee fired head football coach Jeremy Pruitt and a number of staffers inside the football program after an internal investigation into possible NCAA violations.
Dan Patrick added to the news Tuesday on The Dan Patrick Show that assistant coaches with the Volunteers football team put money into McDonald’s bags and handed them to recruits during visits:
“You literally had bag men. They put the cash in McDonald’s bags and handed it to the recruits. My source said they were so in your face with this—they weren’t even trying to hide it. And that’s where my source said: ‘Tennessee got sloppy. Georgia has gotten sloppy.’ But there’s been no word on the NCAA looking at Georgia. But Tennessee, they got sloppy, and they were handing out cash in McDonald’s bags.”
Wes Rucker of 247Sports later reported multiple people within the program are “angrily denying” Patrick’s comments.
University chancellor Donde Plowman said the scope of the investigation, while ongoing, is “astonishing”:
“For now, I can tell you this: The information provided today indicates a significant number of serious NCAA rules violations. While we have no choice but to continue to ask for your patience while both the University and NCAA investigate, the personnel actions we are announcing today are an indication of the gravity of what we have discovered.
“What’s astonishing is the number of violations and their efforts to conceal the wrongdoing.”
Kevin Steele will serve as Tennessee’s acting head coach while the university conducts a search.