Well, that certainly escalated rather quickly.
Tennessee linebacker Jeremy Banks was pulled over for a traffic violation in mid-September and, during the stop, it was discovered there was an active warrant out on the Vols player for failure to appear in court on a suspended driver’s license beef. Banks was arrested and placed in the back of a police car, with the Knoxville News Sentinel writing that, “[a]t times, Banks was polite and complimentary of the officers.” At one point, he even proclaimed, “[I] never met no police officers as nice as y’all.”
When he wasn’t polite and complimentary, though, is where he got himself into a bit of hot water.
TMZ.com posted video of bodycam footage from Banks’ arrest in which, at one point, the player is heard to say, “Where I’m from, we shoot at cops.” “Y’all are some [word for female genitalia,” Banks also proclaimed. “I don’t like the police, bro. Hell nah.”
Banks, who spoke to head coach Jeremy Pruitt during the course of the arrest, also at one point went off on a tangent that included a threat to pull a Baker Mayfield on police the next time he’s in such a situation. From the News-Sentinel:
What would you do without that badge, though? That’s all I want to know,” Banks asked an officer.
“Y’all wouldn’t want to see me without that badge,” he added.
“I should’ve ran, test y’all’s speed,” Banks said later. “Y’all would’ve never catch me. That’s what I should’ve did. Next time, I am, I promise you. Never again y’all boys will take me to jail. Not UT police.
[WARNING: UNLESS YOU ARE A TRUCK DRIVER OR SAILOR, THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS LANGUAGE THAT IS DECIDEDLY NSFW]
Not surprisingly, Banks released an apology after the details of the arrest went public.
“I want to sincerely apologize to my family, the University of Tennessee and the law enforcement community,” Banks said in a statement. “I deeply regret my language and attitude in the video. I have great respect for our police men and women, and I am embarrassed by my actions that night. That’s not who I am. I promise to be a better representative for the University of Tennessee moving forward.”
Pruitt, whose “do your civic duty, man” and “this is the silliest s— I’ve ever seen in my life” quotes from his phone conversation with the arresting officer have raised some eyebrows and will likely be addressed at some point as well, described the player’s behavior and comments as “unacceptable” in his own statement.
“Jeremy’s behavior and comments are unacceptable and portrayed himself and our football program very poorly and he understands that,” the head coach stated. “We will address the matter internally.
“I’m determined to do what I can to help Jeremy grow up and become a better man. Our team and staff respect our law enforcement and we will continue to educate our players on how to carry themselves at all times.
A sophomore, Banks has played in every game for the Vols this season as a backup. His two interceptions in the Week 3 win over FCS UT-Chattanooga marked the first time a Vols linebacker had a pair in the same game since 1981.