After Tennessee’s 47-21 loss to Florida on Saturday, Jeremy Pruitt was asked about rumors surrounding redshirt junior linebacker Quart’e Sapp. Pruitt said during his post-game press conference that the fourth-year linebacker was asked to go into the game, refused, and Pruitt asked him to leave the game.
But now Sapp has shared his side of the story, and it contradicts what Pruitt stated on Saturday night.
Sapp took to Twitter on Sunday morning and posted a message to Vol fans. Sapp claims that he was never asked to go into the game, nor did he ever refuse to enter the contest. Instead, Sapp claims there was a “sideline confrontation” that occurred and that the “other party involved had to be restrained” during it. Sapp says that the “current narrative has been created through miscommunication.”
— Quart’e Sapp (@Dedicated_2Work) September 23, 2018
When Pruitt was asked about the situation after the game on Saturday, he claimed that Sapp was asked to leave the game after he and his coaches asked him to enter the game and he refused.
“He left the field in the middle of the game because he wouldn’t go into the game when he was asked to go in,” Pruitt said. “I don’t know how things were done before, but when you tell somebody to go in and they refuse to go in, we’re not going to do that around here. I asked him to leave.”
Pruitt declined to comment further on Sapp’s status after the game, saying the post-game press conference wasn’t the right time to go into detail about the situation.
Sapp became a starter on defense for the Vols last year on defense, starting eight games while playing in all 12 for Tennessee. He totaled 78 tackles, four tackles for loss, and two passes defended last year. This season, Sapp moved to inside linebacker and had competed for a starting spot along with Daniel Bituli and Darrin Kirkland Jr. in the new 3-4 defensive scheme. Sapp had totaled only three tackles and didn’t play against UTEP last weekend due to an apparent injury. He didn’t total any stats in the Vols’ 47-21 loss to Florida.
We will update as more news comes out surrounding this situation.