Butch Jones addressed the statuses of running back John Kelly and linebacker Will Ignont on Vol Calls on Wednesday evening, hours after putting out a statement that they had been suspended.
Kelly and Ignont were cited by Knoxville police Tuesday night when marijuana was allegedly found in their car. Kelly was cited for marijuana possession, not having a headlight and not having proof of insurance. Ignont was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.
“Obviously, we issued a statement,” Jones said. “But obviously, I’ll just tell you this. We have very high standards and expectations associated with the University of Tennessee. We represent something that is bigger than ourselves. We’ll never compromise our standards. It’s very, very unfortunate. We hope that these individuals will learn from it, but we’re never going to compromise our standards here at Tennessee.”
Jones said the team was “very disappointed” to hear about the suspensions, but said Kelly and Ignont addressed the team Wednesday.
“They also understand the high standards that we have,” Jones said. “As the leader, you can never compromise your values and beliefs. This football program stands for so many things. They understood.”
Kelly is by far the Vols’ most productive offensive player, leading the team with 615 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. He also leads the team with 26 receptions and ranks second with 255 receiving yards. The Vols will use several other running backs in an attempt to replace him, Jones said, including freshmen Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan and sophomore Carlin Fils-aime.
Both players reportedly must turn themselves in to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office by Nov. 7.