Tennessee Vols head coach Butch Jones spoke to the media on Monday afternoon.
On Monday, Tennessee Vols head coach Butch Jones, amidst rumors that he’s “lost the team”, insisted that UT’s locker room is “strong”.
But after what’s transpired on Rocky Top over the last several weeks, can we really take Jones at his word?
Jones lost a lot of credibility last month when he suggested that defensive lineman Shy Tuttle was injured by “falling on a helmet”.
By now you’ve likely seen the alleged photos of Tuttle’s eye (if you haven’t, a quick Twitter search will do the trick) and it’s pretty obvious the injury wasn’t caused by someone falling on a helmet. Unless Tuttle fell from an elevated surface. But since Jones declined to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding this alleged “fall”, we are forced to speculate.
What was so odd about Jones insisting that Tuttle was injured by falling on a helmet was that he followed that statement up by declaring a need to “protect his players”.
If a freak accident really happened, wouldn’t you want that to get out as soon as possible? Especially to dispel any crazy rumors that could started? Why would players need to be protected?
And let’s not forget that Jones had a chance to address Tuttle’s injury before his infamous “fake news” press conference. Just two days before, following Tennessee’s win against UMass, Jones was asked why Tuttle didn’t play. He told the media that Tuttle was held out with an “undisclosed injury”.
No one has been able to confirm just exactly how Tuttle’s injury occurred, but we’re all about 99.9 percent certain that it didn’t happen by falling on a helmet. It sounded like Jones didn’t think he was going to be asked about Tuttle’s injury that day and he just made something up on the fly.
Either way, he lied. And everyone knows it. Hell, even respected ESPN College Gameday anchor Rece Davis poked fun at Jones’ fib.
So if Jones was willing to lie about a scuffle at practice (something that just happens sometimes — remember when Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith broke Ken Lucas’ nose?), what else about his team is he willing to lie about?
I hate to question Butch Jones as a man, but he lost a lot of credibility with his flimsy helmet excuse. If he didn’t want to address what happened, he should have just told the media that it’s a private matter that was handled internally and left it at that. He’s the head coach, it’s his right to decide what he does and doesn’t want to comment about.
But unfortunately, Jones destroyed his reputation when he decided to make up one of the worst cover up stories in the history of cover ups.
I can’t see things getting much better for Jones at this point. Too much has happened.
It looks like Tennessee will have to embark on their fourth coaching search in less than a decade.
Maybe fourth time is a charm?