Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said Friday that LB Jeremy Banks had been dismissed from the football team.
“I have made the decision to remove Jeremy Banks from our football program,” Pruitt said in a Friday afternoon statement. “While I will continue to support Jeremy in the next steps in his life, information I recently received made it clear that this decision is in the best interest of the football program and the university.”
The new information Pruitt received is reportedly related to a threat Banks made toward a female Tennessee student on Aug. 24. From ESPN:
While Pruitt did not specify the source of the new information, a source told ESPN's Chris Low that he was made aware of a video of an Aug. 24 incident in which Banks told a woman he would "smack" her after she refused to let him into a party.
Banks was suspended for Tennessee’s Week 4 loss against Florida after a Sept. 15 arrest. He was arrested after he was pulled over for making an illegal u-turn and police discovered a warrant was out for his arrest after he failed to appear in court on a citation for driving with a suspended license.
Banks called Pruitt, threatened woman
The details of Banks’ arrest became public this week when a Knoxville TV station obtained the police footage. Body camera footage captured a conversation between Pruitt and the arresting officer after Banks called Pruitt and handed the phone to the officer.
Pruitt said Wednesday that he was not trying to seek preferential treatment from the officer during his phone call. At one point in the call — which happened in the early morning hours after Tennessee’s win over Chattanooga — Pruitt remarked that “this is the silliest s--- I’ve ever seen in my life.”
After Banks was put in the back seat of the University of Tennessee police car, he told a woman on a ride-along that she did not want to be a police officer.
“Ma'am, you don't wanna be an intern because where I'm from we shoot at cops. I'm from Memphis, Tennessee,” Banks said to the woman.
Banks and Pruitt both issued statements through the school after the police footage was made public. In his apology, Banks said, “I deeply regret my language and attitude in the video. I have great respect for our policemen 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.”
TMZ has video of Aug. 24 incident
TMZ posted video of what happened on Aug. 24 on Friday. The site said that Banks was kicked off the football team not long after it received an email from the school’s police department. TMZ said it was told that Banks had violated the school’s code of conduct that night.
The woman told school officials she had video of the August 24 encounter -- which also showed Banks arguing with security guards, shouting aggressive phrases at them like, "I've been thuggin'."
School officials conducted an investigation and issued a temporary no-contact order against Banks while the probe was underway instructing him to stay away from the alleged victim.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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