According to sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt has relieved multiple doctors of their duties within the University of Tennessee football program. Doctors Greg Mathien and Russell Betcher were informed late last week that they no longer would serve as the team doctors for the Volunteers football program.
Both doctors had provided care for the team dating back to Phillip Fulmer’s time, with Mathien arriving two years prior to Fulmer’s full-time ascension to the Tennessee head coaching job.
“It’s a travesty,” said one source in Knoxville’s medical community.
Said another source entrenched in Knoxville’s medical community, “This situation is (messed) up.”
The move continues Pruitt’s decision to overhaul the Vols’ football medical, nutritional, and training staffs.
Pruitt fired John Burnside, one of the lead trainers for the football program, earlier this spring after just one year in the program. The duo of Mathien and Betcher had nearly 50 years of combined service for UT athletics, and specifically football.
Mathien began working with UT athletics after arriving in Knoxville from his native New York in 1991, working with noted expert Dr. William T. Youmans at Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic. Betcher arrived in 1998. The duo had worked together, alongside other medical personnel, nonstop for UT football, and other sports, concurrently since the 1990’s.
Additionally, the role of John Dean, Director of Rehabilitative Services, in medical services for Vols’ football also remains unclear per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
Moving forward, UT is expected to utilize the services of Dr. Matthew A. Rappè, a shoulder surgeon, and Dr. Robert E. Ivy, both of whom are also employed by Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic.
(You can follow John Brice on Twitter @JohnDBrice1)
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