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Tennessee linebacker Jeremy Banks, who was arrested during a traffic stop last month for an outstanding warrant and was shown cursing at police on video, has been dismissed from the team, coach Jeremy Pruitt announced Friday.
"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," Pruitt said in making the announcement.
While Pruitt did not specify the source of the new information, a source told ESPN's Chris Low that he was made aware of a video of an Aug. 24 incident in which Banks told a woman he would "smack" her after she refused to let him into a party.
The video, which was posted online by TMZ later on Friday, led to Pruitt's decision to remove Banks from the team, the source said.
Tennessee will go with freshman Maurer at QB
Vols' Banks apologizes for conduct during arrest
Vols coach: Didn't seek break for LB after arrest According to TMZ, university officials and police conducted an investigation and issued a temporary no-contact order against Banks while the probe was underway. The woman told TMZ that Banks had been harassing her for months.
The sophomore played a reserve role in each of Tennessee's first four games this season. He has seven tackles and two interceptions.
Tennessee (1-3, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) hosts No. 3 Georgia (4-0, 1-0) on Saturday.
The incident in which Banks cursed police came to light Tuesday, when the University of Tennessee police department released footage of Banks after he was arrested on Sept. 15.
A records check during a traffic stop just before 4 a.m. ET revealed he had an active warrant for failing to appear in court on an earlier charge of driving with a suspended license. In video footage, Banks at one point said, "Where I'm from, we shoot at cops." At another point, Banks said he should have run and tested "you all's speed."
Knoxville television station WBIR first broadcast the footage of Banks' arrest.
After the video was made public, Banks said in a statement Tuesday night that he was "embarrassed" by his actions and vowed to be a better representative for the University of Tennessee moving forward.
Also in the video footage, Banks calls Pruitt, who speaks to an officer and asks why the player is getting arrested. When the reason is explained, Pruitt said, "This is the silliest [thing] I've ever seen in my life." Pruitt also said that "I've worked at four places and never had no crap like this except for here."
"To be honest, when I got the phone call, I had no idea who I was talking to probably for the first two minutes," Pruitt said Wednesday. "By the time I got it figured out, there was obviously some confusion because it was late, but I appreciate the officer talking to me and doing his job."
Pruitt said Wednesday he "absolutely" didn't mean to make it seem as though police at his previous stops were more willing to cut players a break when they ran afoul of the law. Pruitt was a defensive coordinator at Florida State, Georgia and Alabama before Tennessee hired him.
"There's no place I've ever coached that anybody's cut anybody a break," Pruitt said. "The point was the warrant was issued, and it had been issued for five weeks or four weeks there, and I wasn't aware of it. That's something we've got 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. We've got to do a better job as a staff to know what's going on."