John Currie Finally Breaks His Silence

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    Vol fans have been clamoring for Tennessee athletic director John Currie to speak out about Butch Jones’ job status and the state of the Vols. And on Monday night, he finally did.

    Currie appeared on the Big Orange Hotline radio show on Monday night, and he was asked about Jones’ future and the health of Tennessee football. And according to the quotes gathered by the Knoxville News Sentinel, Currie is carefully considering his decision.

    “With any particular decision…you’ve got to make decisions that you truly believe are best for your program,” Currie stated on his radio appearance. “I believe that supporting our staff and supporting our players, getting ready for the Southern Miss game, is the best I can do for our football program right now.”

    Currie didn’t offer any specifics about Jones’ future with Tennessee other than confirming that the two meet weekly. “We see each other about every Sunday,” Currie added. “That’s been one of my practices the whole time. The nine years I’ve been an athletics director now, I always try to go into the building on Sunday, win or lose.”

    Despite his silence over the last few weeks, Currie hasn’t been tapped out. He claims he’s heard what Vol fans have to say, and he knows they’re upset with the state of affairs right now.

    “I know folks are frustrated with the won-loss record,” Currie said. “I am too. Coach Jones is. We all are. I believe, right now, the most important thing to do is support our players.”

    He also said that his feelings about Tennessee’s loss to Kentucky “are the same as everybody else in Volunteer Nation, including Coach Jones.” The Vols lost to the Wildcats for the first time since 2011 and only the second time in the last three decades on Saturday.

    “It was disappointing,” Currie stated. “Our players played so hard, though, the whole game. They never let up.”

    Currie would go on to say that Tennessee’s passionate fan base was one of the reasons he took the AD job at Tennessee.

    “The bottom line is, one of the reasons I came back here to the University of Tennessee is that this is a national program with a national following and incredibly passionate and fevered fans,” Currie added. “That knife cuts both ways, right? You’re excited when you win, and you’re disappointed and angry when you lose.

    “It’s the same for the staff and the AD and the players, too.”

    Vol fans have been very vocal this season with their displeasure about Tennessee’s losses. “Fire Butch Jones” signs have appeared all over the country, and now there’s a #EmptyNeyland movement on social media to protest Jones and the constant losing of the team.

    But Currie says that passion is twofold, and if Tennessee is winning, then that energy gets directed in a positive way.

    Tennessee will host Southern Miss on Saturday, November 4th for homecoming. The Vols are currently favored by less than a touchdown over the Golden Eagles.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.