KNOXVILLE, TN- At the conclussion of Tennessee’s weekly press conference on Monday, head coach Butch Jones was asked about the injury to defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, who missed Saturday’s game against UMass. The question centered around the specifics of Tuttle’s injury and if it was caused by a teammate. Jones responded that it was caused by Tuttle landing on a helmet, but then went a step farther and began a rant on the media coverage the team receives.
“I think we have to understand what do we want out of our media? This place, with the drama — and again, these are kids, and I think we all have children and we’re all adults. Are we focused on Tennessee football from a recruiting standpoint, from all the positive things we’ve done, from all the positive things this football program brings to the community, this great fan base … are we in the reality world of TV?
“I think all of us as human have to self-check ourselves, and you may not like that answer, but I’m a father. I have three boys and I think we sometimes have to put ourselves in a role of a parent as well. And I understand y’all have jobs to do. My expectations as the head football coach, I’m the caretaker of Tennessee football. I’m here to develop and grow the football program, recruit the best possible student-athletes to represent the University of Tennessee and win football games and graduate our players. That’s my responsibility. I take that very seriously. But also, I love our kids and I’m going to protect our players and I”m going to protect our program. And sometimes the negativity is overwhelming.
“If everyone is Vols fans, how do we let our opponents use this in the recruiting process with fake news? And sometimes, again, we have to check ourselves. What are we here for? What’s our values and principles that guide our life every single day?
“And I appreciate everyone in this room. You guys have a job to do, and I’m respectful of that. I’m friends with a lot of you guys in the room and I appreciate it, but also there comes a certain time where enough is enough. So, thank you. You guys have a great day. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday and Go Vols.”