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Report: NCAA Hands Down Punishments To Four Former Tennessee Assistants

Brian Niedermeyer
Photo by Nathanael Rutherford/RTI

The NCAA has handed down punishments for four different former Tennessee football assistants that worked under Jeremy Pruitt, Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported Tuesday morning.

According to the report, the NCAA has given three-to-five year show-cause penalties to former inside linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer, outside linebackers coach Shelton Felton, director of player personnel Drew Hughes and student assistant Michael Magness.

A show-cause penalty doesn’t fully ban individuals from coaching, but makes it extremely hard for them to land jobs with the vast majority of schools avoiding them. The NCAA previously handed Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl a three-year show cause and basketball coach Donnie Tyndall a 10-year show cause after Tennessee had already fired him.

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All four individuals were fired with cause in January 2021 with Niedermeyer and Felton being the only two on-field assistant coaches who the university fired with cause.

The penalties come in relation to the Notice of Allegations the NCAA gave Tennessee football last July. Tennessee’s violations including $60,000 worth of impermissible benefits and Pruitt hosting six prospects on visits to Knoxville during the year long recruiting dead period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In total, Tennessee committed 18 Level I violations during Jeremy Pruitt’s tenure. The Vols avoided a lack of institutional control ruling due to their co-operation in the NCAA’s investigation.

While the punishments are official for Tennessee assistants, the case is not over. The NCAA has not agreed to its punishments to former defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley, head coach Jeremy Pruitt or the university itself.

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