Butch Jones Responds to Allegations He Called Former WR 'Traitor'

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2016

KNOXVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 7: Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers looks on during a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Neyland Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated South Carolina 27-24. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones responded Wednesday to allegations he told Drae Bowles he betrayed his team for helping a woman who was allegedly raped.

Nate Rau and Matt Slovin of the Tennessean provided details of the allegations:

University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones told one of his players he "betrayed the team" after the wide receiver helped a woman who said she was raped by two other football players, according to a new legal filing in a sweeping lawsuit filed by six women against Tennessee.

Michael Spencer of WATE in Knoxville shared the coach's response:

Paul Finebaum of ESPN provided comments from former team captain Marlon Walls, who defended Jones:

Rau and Slovin reported the lawsuit said Bowles cried after Jones spoke to him, although the suit noted the coach did call him back to apologize for deeming him a "traitor."

According to the suit, Jones' interactions with Bowles followed an altercation during which teammate Curt Maggitt punched Bowles "as retribution inside the UT locker room, according to the new filing," per Rau and Slovin.

Maggitt and Jones were allegedly upset with Bowles for assisting a woman who claimed Tennessee football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams sexually assaulted her.

Rau and Slovin provided the details: "Bowles found the woman, a friend of his identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe IV, crying and hyperventilating in a parking lot in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 2014, according to the lawsuit. They called 911 and arranged to meet an ambulance at Volunteer Hall."

Bowles was also reportedly confronted by teammates Geraldo Orta and Marlin Lane.

Rau and Slovin said Bowles transferred to UT Chattanooga after these alleged incidents occurred in November 2014.

This is just one component of an overarching federal lawsuit against Tennessee's athletics department. Anita Wadhwani and Slovin of the Tennessean reported two new plaintiffs recently joined the lawsuit, which means there are now eight total women suing the school. Wadhwani and Slovin provided context:

Five women say they were assaulted by football players; one says she was assaulted by a basketball player; one says she was assaulted by non-athletes at a party thrown by a football player; and another says she transferred because she feared retribution for aiding a friend who reported being raped by a football player, according to the lawsuit.

Patrick Brown of the Times Free Press shared the university's response to the lawsuit:

Jones also joined other head coaches of various Volunteers sports programs at a Tuesday news conference held to defend the overall culture inside Tennessee's athletics department.