Report: Pruitt Makes Another Change to Staff

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    Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

    Jeremy Pruitt has made it known that he wanted to come in and shake things up in Tennessee’s football program. Thus far, he’s done just about everything he can to completely overhaul the program and make it his own at the university. And according to a report on Tuesday, Pruitt made what looks to be one final, big change to his support staff.

    John Brice of Gridiron Now has reported that Pruitt has relieved two doctors of their duties within the university. Doctors Greg Mathien and Russell Betcher were informed late last week that their service as team doctors for UT’s football program would be coming to a close.

    Both Mathien and Betcher have served Tennessee’s football program for decades, and Mathien arrived at UT two years before Phillip Fulmer was promoted to full-time head coach. Both men served during the Fulmer era and have been with UT since.

    But unlike most of Pruitt’s decisions within the program, this move reportedly hasn’t been met with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

    According to Brice’s report, some sources within Knoxville’s medical community aren’t too thrilled with the move. One anonymous source called the decision to relieve Mathien and Betcher a “travesty” while another stated, “This situation is (messed) up.”

    The two men who are expected to replace Mathien and Betcher according to Brice are doctors Matthew A. Rappè and Robert E. Ivy.

    According to the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic, Rappè received a bachelor’s degree from UT in 1997 and a medical degree from UT in 2001. He served his residency at the University of Florida and was chief resident in his fifth year. He then completed a one-year orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship with the renowned Dr. James R. Andrews at the American Sports Medicine Institute and Alabama Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in 2007.

    The site also states that “as a sports medicine specialist, Dr. Rappé specializes in arthroscopy and the treatment of all sports-related injuries, as well as the open and arthroscopic treatment of the shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle.” He also holds certification in “the treatment of cartilage injuries in the knee with articular cartilage implantation.” He’s also an orthopaedic consultant to the Tennessee Smokies among other duties and titles.

    The KOC says Ivy graduated from Stanford in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree and earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt in 1988. He was also awarded the prestigious Justin Potter Academic Scholarship when applying to Vanderbilt. Ivy served his residency at Vanderbilt and finished his training with a one year fellowship in hand and microvascular surgery at the nationally renowned Indiana Hand Center in Indianapolis.

    Ivy joined the KOC in 1994 and has been a specialist in the treatment of hand and elbow disorders. He was selected by his peers to the “Best Doctors in America” list and has been voted by Knoxville’s Cityview Magazine to the “Top Docs” list.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.