There’s yet another twist to what has been a tumultuous day in Knoxville, Tenn.
After allegations surfaced that Tennessee coach Butch Jones called football player Drae Bowles a “traitor” for helping out an alleged rape victim, the coach decided to speak his mind.
“The assertion that I ever attempted to belittle or demean a young man for taking action to help another person is absolutely false,” Jones said in a statement obtained by WATE’s Michael Spencer.
“To the contrary, I did all I could to assist the former student in question. 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.”
Jones’ definitive claims only add more confusion to an already perplexing situation.
According to multiple accounts, Bowles helped a woman that alleged two Tennessee football players raped her. Bowles was reportedly confronted by teammates on two occasions for helping the woman, and one teammate told the police one player, Geraldo Orta, put “a hit out” on Bowles. Orta has denied the allegation.
In the aftermath of that, Bowles said that Jones called him both a “traitor” and that he “betrayed the team” in a sworn affidavit.
Jones, along with 15 other Volunteers head coaches, held a joint press conference earlier in the week to defend the university’s athletic programs.