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Former Tennessee Football Player Says Coach Butch Jones Called Him a Traitor for Helping Alleged Rape Victim
The University of Tennessee is already reeling from renewed interest in the 20-year-old Peyton Manning sexual assault scandal. Now it looks like they get to deal with a fresh one, too.
According to an affidavit signed by sophomore wide receiver Drae Bowles and filed in federal court, head football coach Butch Jones said Bowles had “betrayed the team” by helping a woman who said she had been sexually assaulted by two football players.
The same affidavit also says Bowles was punched in the mouth and bloodied by teammate Curt Maggitt, then “confronted” by teammates Geraldo Orta and Marlin Lane the following day.
The alleged retribution stems from an incident that occurred in the early morning hours of November 16, 2014. Jones was driving in his car when he noticed a woman “hyperventilating and crying” in her car. When he stopped to check on her, she told him that she had been raped by his teammates A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams. Bowles then drove the woman and her friend to a hospital.
Later that day Maggitt, who had heard about the rape allegations, confronted Bowles and accused him of trying to “f*ck up A.J.” Then he punched him.
Bowles says he called Butch Jones to tell him what had happened, at which point Jones accused him of betraying the team, and Bowles says he broke down and cried. It was “several hours later” when Jones called Bowles back and apologized.
While Bowles reported the confrontations with his teammates to the university, he did not mention the phone conversation with Jones. He then dressed for the Volunteers’ last three games, but he transferred to UT-Chattanoga after the season.
Butch Jones denies Drae Bowles’ accusations about his conduct, calling them “absolutely false.”
“To the contrary, I did all I could to assist the former student in question,” he said in a formal statement. “During the course of the judicial process, campus officials, as well as the young man’s own words, will clearly establish that I have done nothing wrong. I will fight all of these false attacks on my character, and I know that once this process has been completed, my reputation will be affirmed.”
It is of course possible that Bowles made up the new details about Jones as retribution for the treatment that eventually led him to transfer. But if you believe that, then you also have to accept the fact that Bowles was treated unfairly for trying to help an alleged rape victim. So either way Jones, the Tennessee football program, and the entire University of Tennessee come off looking pretty bad.
Oh, and by the way, the Title IX lawsuit agains the University of Tennessee? It involves sexual assault allegations from eight women.
Honestly, at this point I’d think twice about sending your daughter to school in Knoxville.