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'This is the silliest s*** I've ever seen;' Jeremy Pruitt questions officer after player's arrest

Posted: 9:57 PM, Oct 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-02 15:34:47-04
jeremy pruitt

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee Police Department body camera video shows Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt questioning police during player's arrest.

In the video obtained by WVLT News , Pruitt can be heard asking the officer why they arrested linebacker Jeremy Banks.

Banks was pulled over just before 4 a.m. Sunday, September 15 for making an illegal U-turn at Volunteer and Lake Loudoun boulevards.

According to the arrest report, Banks had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in Knox County court. In the body cam footage, Banks admits to having a suspended license. Court documents show Banks was cited for driving on a suspended license July 17.

Knox County court records show charges against Banks were dismissed on Thursday, September 26.

Below is a portion of Pruitt's conversation with the UTPD officer as transcribed by WVLT News.

UTPD OFFICER:
THAT'S WHERE WE'RE AT NOW.

COACH JEREMY PRUITT:
SO WHY DO YOU ALL ... WHY ... I MEAN, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO ARREST HIM? JUST BECAUSE HE'S GOT A WARRANT?

UTPD OFFICER:
BECAUSE THAT'S ... THE STATE OF TENNESSEE IS THE ONE WHO ISSUED THE WARRANT SO I HAVE TO TAKE HIM IN FOR THAT WARRANT. I HAVE ... LIKE I SAY I HAVE NO CHOICE ABOUT THAT. IF IT WAS JUST A SUSPENDED LICENSE I CAN HAVE DISCRETION ON THAT, BUT SINCE THERE IS A WARRANT OUT FOR HIS ARREST I HAVE NO DISCRETION ON THAT.

COACH JEREMY PRUITT:
DOES IT SAY WHEN THE WARRANT WAS ISSUED?

UTPD OFFICER:
NAH .. NO SIR. IT JUST SAYS THAT THERE IS A WARRANT FOR HIS ARREST.

COACH JEREMY PRUITT:
THIS IS THE SILLIEST **** I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE ... I GOT IT, I UNDERSTAND. I'VE WORKED AT 4 PLACES THEY NEVER HAD NO CRAP LIKE THIS EXCEPT FOR HERE BECAUSE THE PEOPLE USUALLY SAY, 'HEY, SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT HERE.'

UTPD OFFICER:
LIKE I SAID SIR I DON'T KNOW IF THEY SENT HIM NOTIFICATION. USUALLY THEY WILL SEND NOTIFICATION OR WHATEVER WHEN HE IS SUPPOSED TO APPEAR IN COURT ON THE TICKET. IF HE DOES NOT APPEAR IN COURT THEY WILL PUT A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TICKET ...

COACH JEREMY PRUITT:
I GET THAT. I GET ... I UNDERSTAND THAT, ALRIGHT. BUT SOME OF THESE KIDS, THEY DON'T HAVE NOBODY AT HOME TO TEACH THEM HOW TO DO STUFF SO IF SOMETHING HAPPENS PEOPLE NOTIFY SO YOU CAN TEACH THEM HOW TO DO IT. SO ... I GET IT.
KIDS GOT TO LEAD HIS WHOLE LIFE
GO AHEAD. DO YOUR CIVIC DUTY MAN.

UTPD OFFICER:
APPRECIATE IT COACH.

In a statement released Oct. 1, Pruitt said: “Jeremy’s behavior and comments are unacceptable and portrayed himself and our football program very poorly and he understands that. We will address the matter internally. I’m determined to do what I can to help Jeremy grow up and become a better man. Our team and staff respect our law enforcement and we will continue to educate our players on how to carry themselves at all times.”

Banks also put out a statement, "I want to sincerely apologize to my family, the University of Tennessee and the law enforcement community. I deeply regret my language and attitude in the video. I have great respect for our police men and women, and I am embarrassed by my actions that night. That’s not who I am. I promise to be a better representative for the University of Tennessee moving forward.”