That meant that when the Vols were recognized at a basketball game for winning the Outback Bowl, coach Butch Jones was peppered by the media with questions surrounding the state of the program.
Jones’ main message, broadcasted on Periscope by the Tennessean’s Matt Slovin, was that the culture of Tennessee’s program is still a strong one, despite the disarray this week.
“We’ve worked very hard to build our culture. We’ll continue to defend it, but we’re very proud of what we have here,” Jones said.
“We take all accusations very seriously. Can we continue to improve? Yeah — just like any team, company or organization. But we’ve come — our players have done a great job and we have great people here at Tennessee.”
Asked about the status of Johnson, who was reportedly arrested on charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel’s Dustin Dopirak, Jones said he didn’t have any update.
“It’s (an) ongoing legal process,” he said. “We take all accusations seriously. Nothing’s changed.”
Jones concluded the media availability by answering a question about how he thinks the rest of the country currently views this program. He’s confident those who are familiar with the program know its reputation already.
“The people that know us, they know our football program. They understand what’s going on here with all the positivity. They understand that,” Jones said. “We just have to continue to work and grow and get better and let it galvanize us closer as a football team and a football program. People who understand what we’re all about, they understand that we have a good culture in place.”