Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt grabs player’s jersey and scolds him after penalty

Tennessee is now 6-5 after being 2-5. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Tennessee is now 6-5 after being 2-5. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt has a tendency to grab onto his players when he’s mad at them.

Pruitt grabbed the jersey of defensive back Shawn Shamburger after Shamburger committed a personal foul penalty in the fourth quarter of Tennessee’s 24-20 win over Missouri on Saturday. Shamburger hit Missouri QB Kelly Bryant after Bryant went out of bounds. So Pruitt was displeased. And he let Shamburger know it on the sideline.

Tennessee was leading 24-17 at the time of the penalty. Missouri kicked a field goal on the drive to cut the lead to four but never got close to a game-winning touchdown after that.

It’s at least the second time that Pruitt has grabbed a player in anger in 2019. He grabbed the facemask of QB Jarrett Guarantano after Guarantano botched a play and ran a QB sneak that turned into a 100-yard touchdown for Alabama in October.

Given the imbalance of power between Pruitt and his players — not to mention the fact that Pruitt makes millions while his players can’t retain their own image rights — it’s a good idea for Pruitt to keep his hands off the guys he coaches. But Pruitt’s team is also 6-5 and guaranteed a bowl game after beating Missouri. There are a lot of Tennessee fans who will be defending his actions because the team has now won four straight games.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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