Nick Saban contacted Jeremy Pruitt regarding the Alabama defense coordinator vacancy, via report

Alabama got in touch Jeremy Pruitt for his position as defensive coordinator, according to Dennis Dodd. Pruitt was the defense coordinator for the Crimson Tide from 2016-17 before Tennessee hired him as head coach. Tennessee fired Pruitt after the 2020 season. He served as a defensive assistant for the New York Giants in 2021.

“Coach of Alabama Nick Saban has reached out to the former Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt Regarding the vacant position of defense coordinator of the Crimson Tide, sources tell CBS Sports,” Dodd wrote. “It is believed that no offer has been made at this time and Alabama would not comment on Pruitt’s candidacy if asked for comment. Sources indicate that Pruitt has a strong chance of being hired by the Tide as the subject of an ongoing NCAA investigation. He was fired in Tennessee two years ago when the NCAA made allegations of 18 Level I violations against the volunteers. Level I violations are the most serious on the NCAA violation scale.”

The notice received by Tennessee and Pruitt contains 18 level 1 violations — the most serious of the NCAA’s four-tier violations — in connection with nearly $60,000 worth of cash and gifts provided to recruits, players and their families.

Knox News received a copy of the allegation notice, including a breakdown of all 18 violations. Most involve Tennessee employees — and Pruitt’s wife, Casey Pruitt — who pay for meals, hotel stays and transportation. In some cases, Tennessee-related individuals gave money to applicants’ parents to pay off debts or rent.

In the first violation, Casey Pruitt arranged for a recruit’s family to meet with a real estate agent. In particular, however, the NCAA commended Tennessee’s leadership in handling the scandal, going so far as to say that “actions taken by the institution during the investigation should be the standard for all institutional investigations of potential violations.”

The 18th infraction alleges that the university failed to oversee the program’s recruiting efforts to ensure they were consistent with NCAA governance. It also notes that there was no “lack of institutional oversight” found in Tennessee, which Knox News said could prevent the program from potentially suffering devastating penalties.

Tennessee reflected the NCAA’s view of their compliance throughout the process.

“At every step of this process, the University’s swift and decisive actions have exemplified the NCAA’s longstanding values, which are reaffirmed in the new membership constitution,” the university said in a statement. “While the NCAA’s bylaws prohibit the university from commenting publicly on the specific allegations, the university has and will continue to seek a resolution of this case that is consistent with the new NCAA constitution and in the best interests of the University of Tennessee.”

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Tennessee fired Pruitt on good cause in January 2021 after an internal university investigation found evidence of widespread recruiting violations. In three seasons as Tennessee head coach, Pruitt compiled an overall record of 16-19, including a 10-16 appearance in the SEC game.