Nov 21, 2020; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Joe Milton (5) throws the ball against Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive lineman Mike Tverdov (97) and defensive lineman Michael Dwumfour (99) during the first half at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Ex-Michigan QB Joe Milton headed to Tennessee

Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass before the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Former Michigan quarterback Joe Milton has transferred to Tennessee, multiple outlets reported Monday.

While new coach Josh Heupel hasn’t confirmed the move, Tennessee-focused website Volquest confirmed he is listed in the school’s student directory. He is expected to begin classes during the summer semester.

Milton is a graduate transfer but has three years of eligibility remaining. He announced his decision to enter the transfer portal in February on Twitter.

Milton was named the Wolverines starter for 2020 before being replaced by Cade McNamara for the final two games of the season. Milton completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 1,077 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

Michigan finished 2-4 last season.

The Volunteers were 3-7 and fired coach Jeremy Pruitt after the season following an investigation into allegations of recruiting improprieties. The quarterback position never was settled in 2020, with Pruitt using five quarterbacks, each of whom appeared in four or more games.

Jarrett Guarantano, who took most of the snaps for Tennessee last season, transferred to Washington State, and JT Shrout moved on to Colorado. Still, with the addition of Milton, Tennessee’s quarterback room would be a who’s who of former standout high school players, including returnees Harrison Bailey and Brian Maurer, and Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker.

The 6-foot-5 Milton, who is from Florida, was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2018.

–Field Level Media

Sep 1, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; A Tennessee Volunteers helmet is seen pregame before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee suspends LB after animal abuse allegations

Tennessee indefinitely suspended linebacker Aaron Beasley following allegations he abused a cat.

“We have received the incident report from the Knoxville Police Department,” the university said in a statement Monday. “Aaron Beasley has been suspended indefinitely from all football team activities as we await further information.”

As of Monday night, he had not been charged with a crime.

The 6-month-old cat was diagnosed with a concussion and kidney failure, according to the incident report. A GoFundMe page started by the cat’s owner said it has injuries that will be long-lasting, including brain damage.

The abuse allegedly occurred Wednesday night in an apartment shared by three women, one of whom is Beasley’s girlfriend.

His girlfriend, identified as Zoe Phillips, told police Beasley locked the cat in a bathroom but denied he abused the pet in any way. Another roommate, McKinley Bunting, told police she had a text message from Phillips that said Beasley put the cat in the toilet.

Beasley, 20, is entering his junior season and has appeared in 17 games with the Volunteers, making nine tackles. He has been considered a candidate to start for Tennessee in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2021; Orlando, FL, USA; Auburn Tigers interim head coach Kevin Steele walks on the field before the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Vols fire DC Kevin Steele after seven weeks

Tennessee has fired defensive coordinator Kevin Steele after less than two months on the job.

Steele was hired on Jan. 12, just six days before Tennessee fired head coach Jeremy Pruitt after an investigation into potential recruiting violations.

New head coach Josh Heupel, hired on Jan. 27, added Tim Banks as his defensive coordinator last month.

The university still owes Steele $860,870, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. That money would be offset if Steele lands a job with another team.

Steele, 62, spent the previous five seasons as the defensive coordinator at Auburn but was not kept as part of new coach Bryan Harsin’s staff.

A linebacker for two seasons at Tennessee in 1978-79, Steele worked for three seasons with the Vols as an assistant immediately after college to kick off a long career as an assistant.

Steele also served as head coach at Baylor from 1999-2002, with the Bears going 9-36 and just 1-31 in conference play during his four seasons.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Tennessee Volunteers place kicker Brent Cimaglia (42) kicks a field goal during the second quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee K Brent Cimaglia transfers to Georgia Tech

Former Tennessee kicker Brent Cimaglia announced Sunday that he is transferring to Georgia Tech.

He entered the transfer portal late last month and has one year of eligibility remaining.

“Honored and blessed to receive this opportunity,” Cimaglia tweeted Sunday, his words accompanied by an illustration of him kicking in a Georgia Tech uniform. “Proud to be a yellow jacket, big things to come!”

In four seasons at Tennessee, Cimaglia connected on 88 of 89 extra-point attempts. He was 46 of 62 (74.2 percent) on field goals, good for third in Volunteers history. He also scored 226 career points, which ranks 11th in program history.

–Field Level Media

Sep 7, 2019; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers offensive coordinator Jim Chaney before the game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Assistants Jim Chaney, Chris Weinke out at Tennessee

New Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel is starting to assemble his staff and won’t bring back a pair of prominent assistant coaches, multiple outlets reported.

Not returning to the Volunteers are offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke.

Former coach Jeremy Pruitt, who was dismissed earlier this month after an investigation into potential recruiting violations, hired Chaney in January 2019 to lead the offense. Chaney has been a coach in college and the NFL for 36 years. He was Georgia’s offensive coordinator before moving to Knoxville.

Weinke, the 2000 Heisman Trophy winner, was hired by Pruitt in 2018 to coach running backs, then became the quarterbacks coach the following year.

He also played seven seasons in the NFL.

ESPN said Chaney still has $1.7 million remaining on his contract, with Weinke owed $450,000.

Heupel has not yet announced whether he will retain Kevin Steele, a defensive assistant who was hired just a week before Pruitt’s firing, or wide receivers coach Tee Martin. Martin was the quarterback on the last Volunteers national championship team in 1998.

Tennessee hired Heupel, formerly the coach at UCF, earlier this week.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA;  UCF Knights head coach Josh Heupel watches from the sidelines during the first quarter against the Temple Owls at the Bounce House. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Tennessee picks UCF’s Josh Heupel as head coach

Josh Heupel is set to become head coach at Tennessee.

According to multiple reports, Heupel accepted the position with the Volunteers from new athletic director Danny White, who hired Heupel at UCF. Heupel had not officially resigned from UCF as of Wednesday.

The news shifts the narrative in Knoxville, Tenn., where the program has been mired in controversy for weeks. Jeremy Pruitt was fired for cause Jan. 18 following an investigation summarized by university chancellor Donde Plowman as “serious violations of NCAA rules.”

Tennessee was 3-7 in 2020.

Since Philip Fulmer was fired in 2008, the Volunteers have hired six different coaches, including Heupel.

White was hired as Tennessee athletic director last week and used a search firm to conduct multiple interviews in a five-day span.

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell and Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck all discussed the job with White. The 42-year-old Heupel takes over after three seasons at UCF, where he replaced Scott Frost (Nebraska).

The former Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up went 28-8 at UCF.

–Field Level Media

Jan 18, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers logo on a fans jacket prior to the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Memorial Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee hires UCF’s Danny White as athletic director

Tennessee hired Danny White as its new athletic director on Thursday.

White has been serving in the same role at UCF for the past five-plus years. He also was the AD at Buffalo for 3 1/2 years before taking over the Knights’ athletic program in November of 2015.

“Danny White is an innovative leader in college athletics with a strong track record in recruiting and developing leaders,” Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman said in a statement. “He brings the combination of winning attitude, competitive drive, and dedication to integrity and academics that we are looking for.”

White replaces Philip Fulmer, who said earlier this week that he would retire once the new hire is in place.

“I am thrilled to be headed to Knoxville and to a university with a great competitive tradition and a spirited and devoted fan base,” White said. “Volunteer fans have an expectation to win, and my first task will be taking on the search for a new head football coach. But I want all Vols to know that I am deeply committed to excellence in all of our athletic programs.”

Tennessee fired football coach Jeremy Pruitt on Monday following an internal investigation into the program’s recruiting violations.

The Volunteers have fallen on hard times as a football program with eight losing seasons in the past 13 campaigns.

White helped lead a turnaround at UCF. The Orlando school went 0-12 in 2015 and but it later went 13-0 in 2017 and 12-1 in 2018.

UCF billed itself as national champions following the 2017 season under coach Scott Frost when it wasn’t seriously considered for a College Football Playoff spot.

When Frost left for Nebraska, White promoted Josh Heupel to head coach and the latter was a combined 22-4 over his first two seasons.

White signed a five-year extension reportedly worth more than $1 million annually with UCF in March of 2020.

White is the son of Duke athletic director Kevin White and the brother of Florida basketball coach Mike White.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2020; Knoxville, TN, USA;   Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is seen during the third quarter of a game between Tennessee and Missouri at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. Mandatory Credit:  Calvin Mattheis-USA TODAY NETWORK

Reports: Tennessee fires coach Jeremy Pruitt

Tennessee fired football coach Jeremy Pruitt, according to multiple reports Monday.

His dismissal comes amid an investigation into potential recruiting violations. Earlier this month, Tennessee put hiring on hold in the program and brought in prominent outside attorneys Michael Glazier and Kyle Skillman to assist in the investigation about alleged violations, including improper benefits.

Athletic director Phillip Fulmer also will retire when his replacement is hired, according to the reports. Fulmer was the football coach from 1993 to 2008 and led the Volunteers to a 13-0 record and their most recent national championship in 1998.

Fulmer hired Pruitt, who was the defensive coordinator at Alabama, in 2017. In three seasons under Pruitt, the Volunteers were 16-19, including 3-7 in 2020. He replaced Butch Jones

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Pruitt was fired for cause, which would allow Tennessee to not pay his buyout or settle on a lesser amount. The school gave Pruitt a contract extension and raise in September that increased his average annual salary to $4.2 million and kept him with the Volunteers through the 2025 season, saying at the time that the program had made “excellent progress” under Pruitt.

The newspaper said Pruitt is owed a buyout of about $12.8 million. Firing his staff would cost an additional $6.2 million.

The investigation into the program began in November, with one of the focuses being the recruitment of Amarius Mims, a five-star tackle in the Class of 2021 who signed with Georgia, ESPN reported earlier this month. The outlet also said that tailback Eric Gray didn’t play in the Volunteers’ season finale against Texas A&M because of the investigation.

Gray led the team with 772 rushing yards.

–Field Level Media