Alabama Football: NCAA door shuts on Jeremy Pruitt to Bama

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

While most Alabama football fans have endorsed Nick Saban’s decision to hire Kevin Steele, many still yearn for Jeremy Pruitt. Summarizing the opinions of what appears to be most Alabama Crimson Tide fans; Kevin Steele is a good to very good Defensive Coordinator, but Jeremy Pruitt is a great one.

Among the Crimson Nation, Pruitt will forever be remembered and cherished for the Crimson Tide’s defenses in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Statistically, they were in the top eight of Alabama defenses of all time. In terms of a defense scoring points, Pruitt’s 2016 group was the Crimson Tide’s best-ever.

Pruitt failed as a head coach at Tennessee. But indirectly, Pruitt did the Vols a big favor. The NCAA mess at Tennessee not only cost Pruitt his job, it also forced Phil Fulmer into another retirement. Removing the cancer of Phil Fulmer that came close to destroying Vols football was the precursor to the Vols’ recent success.

For weeks before Saban hired Steele, Alabama football insiders were convinced Pruitt would soon return to Tuscaloosa. After a year with the New York Giants, Pruitt readily admitted he wanted to coach for the Crimson Tide again.

The NCAA process that will bring expected punishment to Tennessee, could also come down hard on Pruitt. Nick Saban decided the risk of hiring Pruitt for an onfield role was too great.

Alabama fans held out hope Pruitt would accept an offer as an Alabama defensive analyst. An extension of that hope was the possibility the NCAA would decide to let analysts do on-field coaching.

A few months ago, the prospect of the NCAA approving the change appeared to be good.

Alabama Football Must Wait

As reported by Matt Zenitz for On3, any effort to make the change will not pass for the 2023 season.

"The proposal to allow analysts and other off-field staffers to coach during practice is not expected to pass before the 2023 season, American Football Coaches Association executive director Todd Berry told On3."

Todd Berry elaborated,

"I’ve told the group that I’m disappointed because we led people to believe that something was going to happen. And not just us, but a lot of entities because there were a lot of conversations kind of going on privately and publicly about that this was likely to happen.…  we have a lot of coaches that have made moves based off an assumption and now you’re talking about their whole career has changed."

Jeremy Pruitt may be one of the coaches Berry was referring to in his statement.

dark. Next. Spring Practice Question Marks

Alabama Football, Nick Saban and Jeremy Pruitt will have to wait – unless Pruitt changes his mind and comes on board in an off-field role.