The Tennessee football season has come to an end, as Jeremy Pruitt, multiple staff members, and players have tested positive for Covid or have been contact traced.
The Vols will not be headed to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl, as they’ve shut down all team activities. The university conducted their regular scheduled testing on Sunday, which is when positive results starting coming in. The medical staff then re-tested all of those, and they were confirmed to be positives.
The University has released a statement concerning today’s news.
“After receiving Sunday’s COVID-19 test results, the University of Tennessee football program has paused all team activities and will be unable to compete in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The test results revealed an increase in positive cases among student-athletes and staff and subsequent contact tracing. The decision was made in consultation with health officials, the Southeastern Conference, and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The student-athletes and staff affected are taking the appropriate safety measures in accordance with University, CDC, and local health department guidelines. The University of Tennessee extends its sincere appreciation to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and the city of Memphis and is disappointed it will not be able to fulfill its commitment on New Year’s Eve.”
Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt also released a statement, confirming his positive test.
“Earlier today, I was informed by our medical staff that I have tested positive for COVID-19, and I immediately began isolating at home. I am experiencing mild symptoms but doing fine. We are obviously disappointed that we will not be able to play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, but the health and safety of our student-athletes will always remain our top priority. I am especially proud of our team and medical staff in safely navigating through a unique season where we played all 10 of our regular-season games.”
The past 72 hours have been a whirlwind for the Vols, as our report came out Saturday that Tennessee was under investigation for alleged recruiting violations and impermissible benefits.
The Vols finished the season 3-7, and we now wait for the compliance department to finish their investigation and inform the NCAA of their findings.
This investigation could impact the fate of Jeremy Pruitt, even though Phillip Fulmer released a statement Sunday night discussing the 2021 season.
Stay tuned to FOX Sports Knoxville for continuing coverage of this ongoing story.