Knoxville Police called Jones about rape investigations

A report from The Tennessean seems to show that police informed Tennessee coach Butch Jones that two of his players – AJ Johnson and Michael Williams – were being investigated for the rape of a female student.

Both Johnson and Williams were later charged.

The paper said: “The players first heard the news from their Tennessee football coaches — in Johnson’s case, four hours before police showed up at the scene of the alleged crime to question him“, quoting sources.

According to the report, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch and another detective called Jones out of professional courtesy. Rausch has said that such a call in commonplace at Tennessee when there has been a potential crime involving an athlete, but has denied that such a call would tarnish an investigation — even though there are several ways in which it could do.

In this case, it gave the accused players the time to make a series of calls to each other, to potential witnesses, and to obtain lawyers, according to sources,” the paper said, adding that a representative of Knoxville Police Department called Jones at 8.40 am to alert him of the Johnson investigation. Two minutes later  – and five hours before the police arrived – Jones called Johnson.

The Tennessean added: “Rausch called Jones at 8:38 a.m. — the first of four calls between the Knoxville police chief and the head UT football coach that day. Law enforcement experts not associated with the investigation called the calls “unusual” and said they were cause for concern.”


Butch Jones: No backflips over Tennessee’s recruiting success

There were no backflips after Tennessee’s fantastic 2015 recruiting year, head coach Butch Jones said, adding that 2014 was an overachievement from a team that didn’t bring back anyone on the offensive and defensive lines.

“Contrary to reports, there were no back flips, and there were no somersaults, but I think in the world of college football, you’re judged by wins and losses, but also you’re judged by does your team overachieve or under achieve. And I thought last year’s football team, team 118 overachieved.”

He added that overachievements have also been seen in the classroom, where he saw only 12 players manage an average of a 3.0 GPA to 52 (Now, let’s not talk about what classes they were taking!).

Tennessee- unlike a lot of SEC schools is settled at quarterback with Josh Dobbs, who threw for over 1,200 yards and 9 TDs in 2014. “Well, it makes it easier in terms of he’s proven himself. We understand what we’re getting with Josh, and we always talk about consistency and performance. And we know what we’re getting with Josh day in and day out, week in and week out.”

Nike also teamed up with Tennessee this year (as they did with Michigan), and there was some controversy about gray being one of the team’s colors. Jones said: “The exciting thing is with the smoky gray uniforms, they actually sent a crew up into the Smoky Mountains, and that’s where the color gray came from. When you look at our orange uniforms and our white uniforms, it respects the tradition of Tennessee, which that’s what we wanted to do.”

A lot of the SEC Media Day media staff have asked questions about cost of attendance at school, which means that players are going to be re-paid the full cost of attending a college. But Jones doesn’t seen it that way: “I know cost of attendance has been a big topic, and that’s a federal government formula. We do not dictate that. We don’t have any control of that, and I know there’s been numerous questions, how has that affected you in recruiting? And really at the end of the day, a young man, I believe, is going to pick a school because that’s where he wants to go to school. He wants to be a part of that institution. He likes the academics there, and he has a rapport and a great relationship with the coaches, and he wants to be a part of something special. So as coaches, we have no input, we have no say in any cost of attendance issues or formulas that they have.”

He also noted in the case of Alabama as a “constant” team to play on the schedule, that it was “now we just have to get back to making those games relevant again.” Tennessee has lost the last eight games in a row to the Crimson Tide. Things were already pretty spicy between the Neyland Stadium crowd and Lane Kiffin, who is now the offensive co-ordinator of the Crimson Tide. Alabama came away with a resounding 34-20 victory.




Tennessee HC Butch Jones speaks at the 2014 SEC Media Days

Butch Jones, the Tennessee head coach, was at his second SEC Media Days get-together, and here are some of his memorable quotes, which have been gained off Twitter.

On the UT receiving corps: “We are the original wide receiver U” (apparently, it’s not….it’s Pittsburgh)

Who’s going to be QB?:  “We like the progress with [current QBs] Justin Worley, Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman, but we’re not naming a starter”.

On the fact that Tennessee’s playing Alabama every year because of the 6-1-1 schedule, which has infuriated some coaches: “What makes college football special is the rivalries”.

Young talent: “That has brought a lot of positive energy….We’ve had an influx of young talent.”

On Florida: “I believe Florida’s going to be an exceptionally talented football team….I think they’re going to be one of the teams to beat. Coach Muschamp is a great coach and they have our respect just like every program in this great conference.”

His job: “I love my job, and I love being at the University of Tennessee”.

Note to SEC: Texas A&M needs another Thanksgiving Rival

As y’all know by this blog, we love the SEC and we’re really happy that two teams have been added to the SEC schedule. Missouri’s going to be a  cold and difficult place for rivals to play in the East, and Texas A&M’s going to be a deafening place to play in the West.

But let’s be honest – when it became known that Texas A&M was not going to play Texas anymore, it ripped a lot out of college football’s soul.

For over 118 years, Texas and Texas A&M beat the crap out of each other. Even if both sides weren’t good, they were got off the turf for The Thanksgiving Game of All Thanksgiving Games.

Fanbases may not have liked each other (the Longhorn fanbase think of the Aggies as one-up from illiterate goat herders while the Aggies think the Longhorn fanbase is full of snobby you-know-whats who have never known hard work in their lives (interestingly Oklahoma and Arkansas feel the same), but when the Bonfire collapsed in 1999, they came together and treated each other with some love and respect in the face of a tragic accident.

Even though some people would like to see a SEC West rivalry played on Thanksgiving Day as an attempt to start up another rivalry, nothing’s going to be the same after Texas decided that they didn’t want to play the Aggies anymore.

Aggies athletic director Bill Byrne told The Birmingham News in March: “I’m very foolish. I assumed — and it was a rash assumption on my part — that our friends over in the state capital would want to continue playing us. It turns out they didn’t think we were as much of a rival as we thought of them.”

Of course, the reason why the rivalry was put on the bonfire after generations of fuel was Texas’ decision (backed by ESPN) to start The Longhorn Network. Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit must have quivered every time they had to tell Saturday Prime Time viewers what a wonderful thing The Longhorn Network was (thankfully they didn’t pitch it at the Final Game), because College Football and commentary’s about impartiality, and with the new network, it looked like anything but. Anyway, Texas A&M was absolutely furious by UT’s move and left the Big XII for the SEC. In response to that, Texas refused to schedule A&M as an out-of-conference opponent.

And now, we’re not joking.

Right now, the best thing for Texas A&M is to set up a ‘rivalry’ game with Arkansas on Thanksgiving, which at least has a little bit of history. The Arkansas rivalry already has a name called the Southwest Classic (which is kinda cool, in our view). The first game between the two was in 1903. They played from 1934 to 1991 as Southwest Conference Members, and renewed their rivalry in 1999 after eight years of trying to get another game going. Arkansas leads the current rivalry 41-24, but the last game in 2011 was an absolute classic, decided by three points after A&M’s defense once again dissolved. It would remain a home-and-home, rather than be at Jerry Jones’ Texas Stadium, where the last few games were held. This might annoy LSU (who currently play Arkansas at Thanksgiving), but the Tigers would probably be happy to play someone else then.

Jeez, we can still hear the Kyle Field crowd swaying and singing: “Saw varsity’s horns off…..” We really hope they’ll be singing it to Texas soon.



Former Tennessee Vols star in court

Former Tennessee Volunteers star running back Jamal Lewis was in bankruptcy court in Atlanta on Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported.

Lewis, who had 2,677 yards and 17 yards receiving in three successful years for the Volunteers from 1997-9 – which included a National Championship in 1998, moved to the Baltimore Ravens (and later the Cleveland Browns) where he had a career where he mounted up 10,607 yards rushing and 58 touchdowns.

Lewis was thumped by debts after a string of bad investments, the Baltimore Sun reports in an excellent article, including a house, a transport company and an amusement park – all of which was were crushed by the recession of 2008 that saw many builders, small banks and 401Ks crushed in the tidal wave of the subprime mortgage recession.

According to both publications, Lewis has listed $14.5m in assets and $16.5m debts, and the Sun reports a massive financial fall.

The report says: “Lewis’ financial fall has been steep. In 2010, he reported $1.6 million in income; last year, his income had declined to $300,000, according to the bankruptcy filing. Lewis also reported that he makes $35,000 a month as a consultant, but his expenses were almost as much.

But he also claims $14.5 million in assets, among them several houses, part-ownership of the waterpark and the stalled Grand Empire project — as well as one fur and a Super Bowl ring, valued together at $17,500. He also has $500,000 socked away in a 401(k) investment account, the filing shows.”

The former running back is also one of many NFL players suing the NFL for concussions.