Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh unloaded on another rival Thursday, taking to Twitter to offer free advice to Butch Jones after the Tennessee coach made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Wolverines' spring practice in Florida.
"Suggestion to my Rocky Top colleague, rather than lunch in Florida you might spend your time and focus attending to your present team," Harbaugh tweeted.
Jones was one of three head coaches who jokingly said they were planning to attend the Harbaugh-led practice at IMG Academy. Arkansas' Bret Bielema started things off and was soon followed by Michigan State's Mark Dantonio and Jones:
Bret Bielema @BretBielema
After early meetings & lift tomorrow with our players. Thinking about heading to watch an open practice tomorrow at IMG with the staff. #WPS3/2/2016, 8:45:52 PM
Mark Dantonio @DantonioMark
Want to do lunch? #V4MSU https://t.co/5Us82hFySk3/2/2016, 9:22:58 PM
Butch Jones @UTCoachJones
Mind if I join you guys for lunch? @DantonioMark @BretBielema3/2/2016, 11:47:21 PM
It's interesting (albeit understandable) that only Jones received a response. Bielema is part of the sour-grapes SEC crew of coaches who have openly complained to the NCAA about the Michigan practice, and Dantonio spearheads a bitter rival.
But Harbaugh is likely alluding to the problems at Tennessee that run much deeper than football.
Jones is one of three Tennessee administrators named in a Title IX lawsuit against the school and athletic department. Eight women are a part of the lawsuit, which alleges the university and athletic department created an environment that enabled sexual assaults to take place and discouraged victims from reporting crimes, per Anita Wadhwani and Nate Rau of the Tennessean.
Testimony by former Volunteers wide receiver Drae Bowles implicated Jones as one of the worst violators. Bowles said Jones told him he "betrayed the team" after assisting a woman who was allegedly raped by two teammates, per Matt Slovin and Wadhwani of the Tennessean.
Jones denied those claims in a statement and has thus far been given the support of upper Tennessee management, per the Tennessean.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.
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