Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t plan on having a “player led” team in 2018.
And he plans on having a “zero tolerance” policy with his players.
Pruitt was asked on Thursday at the Vols’ signing day celebration in Nashville if he’s identified any leaders on the team during his short time as Tennessee’s head coach. He quickly replied that UT’s coaches will be the “leaders of the team”.
The recently hired head coach later went on to add that Tennessee will have a zero-tolerance policy, saying “We’re going to change this culture…..if you’re one second late, you’re late and we’ll see you at 5:00 AM the next morning”.
#Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt: We’re gonna change this culture. Zero tolerance. Zero. If you’re one second late, you’re late, and we’ll see you at 5 a.m. the next morning.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) February 8, 2018
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Nick Saban runs a tight ship at Alabama and obviously whatever they’re doing in Tuscaloosa works pretty well.
But what about Jauan Jennings?
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but the the first thing that crossed my mind when I heard Pruitt’s “zero tolerance” quote was the Jauan Jennings situation.
My first thought was the Jennings situation would’ve never happened under Pruitt. According to a report from Jimmy Hyams in November, Jennings missed multiple practices, was a constant no-show and refused to go to class at times.
Under Pruitt, the situation would’ve never progressed that far. Either Jennings would’ve faced early discipline, or he would’ve been kicked off the team. Pruitt’s message will be that no one, star player or not, is above team rules — which is the way it should be.
As for Jennings, he has to take responsibility for what he did. But we also have to understand he was playing in a culture that allowed those things to happen. That’s not to take the blame off Jennings, but the situation should’ve never got that bad.
I think Pruitt is doing the right thing by letting Jennings have a second chance. It’s kind of like a player transferring and getting a new start. And it’s not like he’s just being awarded his spot back on the team.
Pruitt said on Thursday that Tennessee will give Jennings the opportunity to rejoin the team via “some things in-house that he’s got to do”, before adding “There ain’t going to be nothing given to him and he knows that. It’s a long ways to go and we’ll see. Hopefully he can do that.”
Featured image via Knoxville News Sentinel