Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt recently drew the ire of Missouri Tigers head coach Barry Odom.
Late last month, the NCAA imposed a bowl ban and recruiting restrictions on Missouri due to academic misconduct. The decision, which is being appealed by the Tigers, means Missouri’s rising seniors (they have 19) can transfer without having to sit out a season.
According to Odom, various schools are taking advantage of this NCAA rule — specifically the Vols.
Odom, speaking at a booster event on Tuesday, said that Tennessee coaches are reaching out “non-stop”.
Here’s Odom’s full quote, via CBS Sports:
“Everybody is going to have a bad day,” Odom said, expressing his frustration with keeping his players from transferring. “You combine that with somebody that — who’d we beat 51-17 this year? Tennessee? Yeah, those guys. They are non-stop reaching out daily [saying], ‘Hey, come here.’ The grass is not always greener somewhere else.”
I have no doubt that Pruitt, along with plenty of other coaches, is reaching out to Missouri players. And he should be, the Vols need depth. The Mizzou players, if they desire, deserve an opportunity to play in a bowl game in 2019.
Now, do I think non-stop calls to a college senior trying to decide what’s best for his future is a good look?
No, I definitely don’t.
But we also don’t absolutely know that’s what is going on. It’s possible that Odom heard some comments from a couple of players and those comments were a bit exaggerated. Maybe two phone calls turned in five or six.
There’s no doubt that Pruitt and his staff are great recruiters. Calling players non-stop and badgering them to leave a school they have spent several years of their life at (and presumably love) is a terrible recruiting tactic.
At the end of the day, Odom’s anger is directed at the wrong source. His program dropped the ball and put him in this situation. Not Tennessee and not any other school in the SEC.
Perhaps Odom should take a step back and regroup. Because we already know he won’t hesitate to pursue transfer options when it’s beneficial to him.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports