When Jeremy Pruitt was hired in December, he knew that changing the culture of the Tennessee football program would be of the utmost importance. After all, the way that Butch Jones ran the ship with countless cliches that were spoken and plastered over the Anderson Training Center became as tiresome as it was corny.
Among all the on and off-field issues with Jones, one of his most egregious actions to fans was the placement of Tennessee’s 1998 BCS National Championship trophy in case surrounded by bricks under a staircase.
— Doug Brooks (@DesertVol) October 16, 2017
Well, fret no more Vol fans, because in addition to changing the culture of the program, Pruitt has changed the location of the trophy to a better-suited location.
the '98 national championship trophy is no longer under the stairs where Butch put it. It has been moved to the upstairs Coaches lobby & displayed where it belongs for all VOLS to see! @wvltrick @AustinPriceless pic.twitter.com/80AGz86WT1
— Mark Packer (@wvltpacker) March 21, 2018
I think that we all should be cautious of praising every action Pruitt does that resembles a normal football coach just because Tennessee has not been used to having one in such a long time. However, this moved should be praised.
While it is dangerous to go all-in on loving a coach before he has shown anything on the field (we’ve seen that backfire too many times), Pruitt deserves credit for making the right moves here.
Instead of slapping slogans everywhere, trying to modify parts of Tennessee’s championship legacy and hiding national titles underneath stairs, Pruitt and Co. are just being normal football coaches and displaying trophies/accomplishments like a normal program should. Fans could already tell that Pruitt was nonsense/gimmick-free after his introductory press conference, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
And like the removal of the Smokey Grey uniforms, this comes as another step in trying to wash out Jones’ “legacy,” in addition to other steps like Pruitt talking about football like a regular coach.
Of course, none of this guarantees any wins, but for Tennessee, normalcy is a breath of fresh air.