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Report: Amended Lawsuit Brings New Allegations

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Plaintiffs in the Title IX lawsuit recently filed against Tennessee amended their filing on Wednesday, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel and other outlets.

Among the new allegations, which reportedly include a sworn affidavit from former Tennessee receiver Drae Bowles, are that Butch Jones told Bowles that he “betrayed the team” for allegedly helping an alleged victim of an alleged rape by former Tennessee players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams.

Bowles transferred to Chattanooga following the 2014 season in a move that Jones at the time said was unrelated to the allegations against Johnson and Williams.

Two new plaintiffs have also been added to the amended lawsuit – bringing the total to eight. Two Tennessee football players – receiver Von Pearson, who just finished his eligibility, and currently-suspended junior defensive tackle Alexis Johnson – are also named in the updated filing.

Pearson was suspended over the summer of 2015 after he was investigated for an alleged sexual assault. No charges were brought and Pearson was reinstated to the team in August of 2015. Alexis Johnson remains indefinitely suspended after he was arrested last week and charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of false imprisonment. Butch Jones called the Alexis Johnson situation an ongoing legal matter on Saturday and said he had no further comment.

Jones was one of 16 coaches who gathered on Tuesday to defend Tennessee’s culture and attitude towards women on campus in a joint press conference.

He spoke out for the victims, while also defending the culture at Tennessee.

“First of all, everything is about the alleged victims,” Jones said on Tuesday. “We take that very, very seriously. We feel for them, we hurt for them, so I think it starts there first and foremost. It’s not who we are. We have great players in our football program. We have great individuals in this entire athletic department. We have a very good culture in place. That’s why I said we’re going to defend our culture. We have good people. They’re embarrassed by it, they’re upset about it – they know it’s not who we are.”

Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart and chancellor Jimmy Cheek are scheduled to address the media in Knoxville on Thursday afternoon at 1 pm ET.

That press conference was announced to the media prior to reports of the amended lawsuit. The exact subject matter for it is unknown, though Tennessee, as is custom in a situation like this, has not directly addressed allegations in the lawsuit up this point outside of a statement from its attorney shortly after the lawsuit was originally filed that stated that UT “acted lawfully and in good faith” in the situations brought up by the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit filed on Feb. 9.

More:

Bowles made a seemingly contradictory statement to KNS in early 2015

Tennesseean coverage of the amended 2016 Title IX lawsuit

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