Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt dropped some not-so-good news during his first fall camp media session.

Pruitt revealed that junior offensive lineman Cade Mays, who transferred to UT from Georgia this past winter, had his waiver denied by the NCAA.

Mays was seeking immediate eligibility after leaving Athens. His former attorney, Tom Mars, released a statement on Monday evening chastising the NCAA for their decision (via Fox Sports Knoxville’s Trey Wallace).

Tennessee is appealing the NCAA’s decision.

While discussing Mays’ situation on Monday, Pruitt brought up a great point that really shows that he’s a player’s coach.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty there. I hate it for young men and women out there that want to transfer,” said Pruitt. “Why should we stand in the way of a young man or woman trying to figure out where the right place for them is?”

Pruitt is absolutely right. And he’s not just saying this because Mays’ waiver was denied. Pruitt has consistently fought for players to be able to transfer and receive immediate eligibility (he famously wrote a letter to help former Vol Marquill Osborne gain immediate eligibility after leaving Tennesee).

It’s clear that Pruitt is deeply invested in his players and what’s best for them. It’s not all about what happens on the football field for Pruitt — it’s about making a positive impact on young players.

I don’t know what will end up happening with Mays, but I have no doubt that Pruitt and Tennessee will continue to fight for the Knoxville native to play this season.

But like I wrote last week, I think Vol fans need to brace themselves for the possibility that Mays never plays a down at UT.

Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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