By Jimmy Hyams
SANDESTIN, Fla. – One of the hot topics at the SEC spring meetings revolves around whether student-athletes should be paid for the name, image or likeness – also known as NIL.
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt was asked his opinion on the topic.
“I don’t know enough about it to really comment,’’ Pruitt said.
How much money could Pruitt have made in college off his name, image and likeness?
“I’d be broke,’’ Pruitt said, laughing.
Pruitt, a defensive back at Middle Tennessee State then Alabama, dove into a more serious topic: The NFL has outlawed the Oklahoma Drill and other violent one-on-one contract drills in practice.
Would Pruitt like to see that extend to the college game?
“I think everybody involved with our game is trying to do everything we can possible to make our game safe, or safer,’’ Pruitt said. “They (NFL) have lots of resources to figure things out. I don’t see no issue with them (NFL) doing that.
What about the brutal bull-in-the-ring drill?
“We don’t do that, it really don’t affect us,’’ Pruitt said. “First of all, bull in the ring, I don’t know how it makes you a better football player. I done it when I was a kid. You stood there in a circle. There’s 30 people standing around. They call someone’s name. You don’t know where they’re at.
“Most of the time when you play football, you know the guy that’s gonna block you and who’s got the ball. I don’t think that game fits into playing football.’’
Pruitt says he has input into UT football on scheduling but that is of little consequence now.
“The thing about scheduling is, these games were scheduled 20 years ago,’’ Pruitt said. “We’re involved in scheduling now. I’d like to be the coach 20 years from now. So maybe I’ll have an impact on it.’’
Would the level of competition he’d like to play be related to how good his team is?
“No,’’ he said. “I think best way to build a program is to play the best teams in the county and I think that’s something we’re looking to do.’’