Cheek Confident There Was No Inappropriate Conduct with Players or Coaches

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    Butch Jones-1-50Chancellor Jimmy Cheek addressed the Board of Trustees on Thursday and responded to recent reports and rumors of an alleged altercation between Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and a player.

    “There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said at the meeting, via a statement provided to RTI from a spokesman. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and [athletics director] Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

    A report published on on Oct. 6, citing anonymous sources, said that Tennessee coach Butch Jones was involved in what a source called a “physical altercation” with an offensive lineman (later identified in the report as senior Mack Crowder) during fall camp.

    Jones was asked by the author of the story, Seth Stokes, on Monday if he had comment on the situation and Jones responded by saying “absolutely ridiculous.”

    No other Tennessee administrators had responded to the report until Cheek’s comments on Thursday. Wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator Zach Azzanni said on Wednesday that he had “never, never” seen any kind of inappropriate behavior from Jones.

    Crowder, whose father recently declined to comment when asked about the alleged incident by the Knoxville News-Sentinel, also released several tweets on Thursday afternoon, his first tweets since Sept. 20: