Pruitt: “We Want to be Ready” When 2020 Season Begins

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    Photo by Nathanael Rutherford/RTI

    A lot of uncertainty surrounds the upcoming 2020 college football season. From whether or not the season will start on time to whether there will be any fans in the stands, many want answers as to how the 2020 season will look.

    Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt and his third-year Vol squad are scheduled to open the season in Neyland Stadium on Sept. 5 against Charlotte. The University of Tennessee recently announced that in-person classes will resume for the fall semester, but that doesn’t necessarily mean students, or fans, will be able to attend games. Nor does it mean games will start on time or take place at all.

    “Our guys are really focused on the things that they can control,” Pruitt recently said on The Paul Finebaum Show. “Whenever we get an opportunity to go play, we want to be ready.

    “These guys are going about their business. Training, doing their school work. There are lots of different circumstances, and this has certainly affected everybody across our nation. It’s affected some guys within our program a little more than others. We talk to them daily, just checking in with them, how them and their families are doing.”

    Tennessee’s players finished up the spring semester last week and are now moving on to the mini term of May. In addition, the NCAA recently granted programs the ability to meet with players for eight more hours per week. As a result of the recent changes, Pruitt is preparing his team as he and his coaches normally would.

    “We’ve put together a pretty good plan for this quarantine,” Pruitt said. “Our staff has done a nice job continuing to really exercise the plan. We’re going to stay the course. whenever they tell us we can come back, or whenever the circumstances change, if they were to change, then we’ll adapt and we’ll go from there.”

    Adding hours that coaches can instruct players doesn’t replace the in-person conditioning or make up for the lost spring practices, though. Most importantly, the players are losing out on controlled workouts and practices. Many expect for there to be an increase in injuries as a result.

    “There’s no doubt about it, having athletic trainers there, that’s what you want,” Pruitt said. “I miss our players, I miss our staff. We’ve not had an in-person staff meeting in a long time. So I like everything that is going on at our place right now.”



    Ben McKee
    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.