Butch Jones responded to new allegations in the amended Title IX lawsuit against the University of Tennessee that included an affidavit from former UT football player Drae Bowles that stated that Jones told him he “betrayed the team” after Bowles assisted the victim of an alleged rape in 2014.
“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 released Wednesday evening. “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.”
Bill Ramsey, who is serving as one of the attorneys for Tennessee in this case, also released a statement on Wednesday:
“The University has reviewed the amended complaint filed (Wednesday) by the plaintiffs and we continue to stand by our actions. The facts, as opposed to allegations in a complaint, will demonstrate that the University acted properly in the matters at issue. We have continuously worked hard to improve our processes and our procedures to ensure that we are doing all that we can to prevent incidents of assault, to support victims of of assault and to pursue justice while ensuring due process for those accused.”
“We will vigorously defend all claims in the amended complaint. The University is issuing this statement to lessen the potential harmful effects narrative in the amended complaint has on the University’s continuing efforts to encourage survivors to come forward and report sexual assaults and its efforts to educate students about the issues of sexual assault. The University will not allow this lawsuit to detract from those efforts.”