After addressing the press the other day in light of all the arrests and allegations surrounding his football program, Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones finds himself in the news following a report that claims he called a former player a “traitor” and that he “betrayed the team” after coming to the aid of a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by the player’s teammates in 2014.
The player, former wide receiver Drae Bowles, was part of a lawsuit that was filed against the school which, according to Yahoo! Sports, came from six women who claimed the university created a “hostile sexual environment” with inaction towards sexual assault.
In a sworn affidavit, Bowles claims that he was punched in the face by then teammate Curt Maggitt for helping the woman, per Yahoo! Sports:
Sophomore Drae Bowles “broke down and cried” after speaking with his coach, the lawsuit said.
Jones later called Bowles back to apologize for calling him “a traitor to the team,” according to the suit.
The two calls with Jones came after Bowles was punched in the mouth and bloodied by teammate Curt Maggitt as retribution inside the UT locker room, according to the new filing.
Named in the suit against the school from the six women because Bowles came to the aid of a woman who was, allegedly sexually assaulted by A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams, who are currently facing rape allegations.
In a report from Deadspin, further details talk about how the team blackballed Bowles for his actions, threatening him and, allegedly, even having “a hit” out on him:
199. In his interviews with police, UT football player Geraldo Orta stated that he felt Bowles had betrayed the team and that where he (Orta) came from, people got shot for doing what Bowles did. These facts are set forth in the Knoxville Police Department Incident Report.
200. During the interview Orta also admitted having confronted Drae Bowles in Smokey’s Cafe (the athletic dining facility), getting “in his face” and saying “some threatening things.”
201. Orta further acknowledged that UT football player Curt Maggitt had also, in a separate incident, confronted Drae Bowles in the team locker room and that Head Coach Butch Jones had “instructed the team to stay away from Bowles and Bowles was given time away from the team.”
202. Curt Maggitt admitted to police assaulting Drae Bowles. Maggitt also admitted the fact that he had purchased alcohol for the party.
Following the news, social media is hot on opinions, with people unsure what to make of the allegations:
It’s amazing reading all this people defending Butch Jones…smh https://t.co/h8JbPsz9GT
— Derrick Burnette (@dpburnette) February 25, 2016