Missouri football head coach Eliah Drinkwitz appeared as a guest Wednesday on “The Jim Rome Show,” and he tried to get some laughs by mocking the Tennessee football scandal and former Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
The NCAA notice of allegations was made public Friday. It included 18 NCAA violations and detailed almost $60,000 of cash or gifts provided to players and their families by Pruitt, his wife and Tennessee staff and boosters.
On Wednesday, Drinkwitz expressed his theory on what punishment could be headed for the Vols early in his conversation with Jim Rome.
“I thought you were going to introduce my record, but with the latest allegations against Tennessee, let’s hold off on what my record is, because I expect them to vacate some wins, and that’s going to help my record a little bit,” Drinkwitz said.
“This is getting better, this is getting so much better,” Rome said of the interview with Drinkwitz. “
Pruitt’s Tennessee team beat Missouri 35-12 on Oct. 3, 2020, in Drinkwitz’s first season at Missouri. Pruitt was replaced after the 2020 season by current Vols football head coach Josh Heupel.
“Since you brought it up, can I get your reaction to the latest allegations against Tennessee,” Rome said after Drinkwitz’s initial comment.
“Me personally, I’ve got to question my wife’s commitment to winning,” Drinkwitz said. “I don’t know how much she’s committed if she’s not engaging in some of these things. I didn’t know that was fair play.”
The NCAA notice of allegations alleges that Casey Pruitt, Jeremy’s wife, paid $12,500 in cash car payments and $3,000 in cash rent payments for a Tennessee player and his mom between September 2018 and March 2021.
After opening with some skewering of Tennessee, Drinkwitz said, “It was a little bit surprising to see the in-depth nature of what was going on there, but I am sure glad Tennessee was taking some ownership of it and we’ll see what the results are. It was pretty interesting for sure.”
“If I was you, I’d walk off right now and then you can go down as the best guest ever,” Rome said.
“Eli, one more thought about that,” Rome said as he posed another question. “It’s one thing to say I didn’t know my wife could get involved and help me cheat — that’s not what you said, but I’ll say that. Even better, did she not used to have some sort of compliance responsibility where she had been previously as well. One thing to have the wife involved, but what if she was involved in compliance and making sure they follow the rules, allegedly. How much better does that make it?”
“Shoot, pressure does crazy things to people,” Drinkwitz said. “There’s a lot of pressure to win in the SEC, so I don’t know. That’s crazy.”
Drinkwitz is 11-12 overall in his two seasons as the Missouri football head coach.
After the interview ended, Rome said that Drinkwitz volunteering his take on Tennessee was “incredible.”
Here’s more Tennessee football news:
In addition to talking about Tennessee’s football scandal, Rome talked to Drinkwitz about his shoe collection and the upcoming Missouri football season.
Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik.