Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt put his Volunteers through that long-awaited first day of preseason practice Monday afternoon but provided some disappointing news afterward.
Junior offensive lineman Cade Mays, the former five-star signee from Knoxville Catholic who played all five positions for the Georgia Bulldogs the past two seasons before transferring to Tennessee in January, had his waiver for immediate eligibility denied by the NCAA. Tennessee is appealing the ruling.
Pruitt, who attained immediate eligibility as a defensive back after transferring from Middle Tennessee State to Alabama in 1995, expressed frustration with the verdict.
"Why should we stand in the way of a young man or woman trying to figure out where the right place for them is?" Pruitt said. "Right now that's not the rule, but I hope that it eventually will be the rule.