Tennessee dismisses LB Jeremy Banks after troubling footage of arrest surfaces
Banks recorded seven tackles for the Vols in four games this season
Tennessee has dismissed linebacker Jeremy Banks from the program after footage of his arrest surfaced earlier this week. Banks was taken into custody on Sept. 15 after a traffic stop revealed that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for driving with a suspended license earlier this year.
"I have made the decision to remove Jeremy Banks from our football program," coach Jeremy Pruitt said in a 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."
Body camera video obtained by WBIR shows the arrest. Banks was cooperative for the majority of the video -- which included a phone call to Pruitt. Toward the end of the video, Banks appears to threaten a woman who was riding along with the police officers.
"Ma'am, you don't wanna be an intern because where I'm from we shoot at cops," he said. "I'm from Memphis, Tennessee."
He also joked about running from the police as he was being transported to the police station.
"I should have ran, test y'all's speed. Y'all would've never caught me," Banks said while sitting in the car.
Pruitt can be heard on the phone during the arrest video speaking with Banks and the responding police officer. Pruitt, who sounds very weary in the audio, seems to suggest that police in Knoxville treat players a little bit differently than other places that he has worked.
"I've worked at four places, and I ain't ever had no crap like this except for here because the people usually say, 'Hey, something's not right here.'"
Pruitt clarified that comment on the SEC coaches teleconference on Wednesday.
"There's no place I've ever coached where anybody has cut anybody a break," he said. "The point was: the warrant was issued and had been issued for five weeks or four weeks there, and I wasn't aware of it. And that's something that we have to do a better job, to focus on our players so you don't have a speeding ticket or anything that turns into something like this. So we have to do a better job as a staff to know what's going on and that's something we have to have a relationship to get it figured out."
Banks' dismissal will have a major impact on the depth at linebacker for Pruitt's Vols. He only has seven tackles on the season but was being counted on as the primary backup behind middle linebacker senior Daniel Bituli.
Tennessee will take on No. 3 Georgia Saturday at 7 p.m. at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.
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