Ever since Butch Jones was let go as Tennessee’s head football coach on Sunday morning, stories have begun to filter out about his time as the Vols’ head coach. And a former Vol and his father came forward on Monday with some scathing statements about Jones.
Former Vol running back Marlin Lane and his father appeared on the 4th and Truth sports podcast show on Monday and were asked about Butch Jones and his tenure as Tennessee’s head coach. Lane’s father, Marlin Lane Sr., was interviewed first and said that he never actually met Jones face-to-face
“I never once shook his hand, never met him face to face,” the elder Lane said. ” Butch never was a man to me and came up to me. I was not even informed Marlin was in a boot. The only reason I found out was when they interviewed him on TV.”
Lane’s father would go on to say that he was never approached by Jones regarding his son and that his son played through injury while under Jones. He also stated that he believes Derek Dooley to be a better coach than Jones.
“Derek Dooley was a straight up guy,” he stated. “I don’t think they gave him enough time.”
Marlin Lane himself was interviewed next, and he stated that he saw and experienced mental and verbal abuse from Jones.
“I have witnessed a lot of it,” Lane said of the abuse from Jones. “Whether it was mental abuse or physically…I didn’t see anything with my own eyes like him physically abusing anyone. I got mentally and verbally abused. He did some things to me that I feel like weren’t held up to the standard he said there. He said he could end my career.”
Lane would provide specifics of some of the abuse he received, saying that Jones used him to run players off the team.
“He used me somewhat to run off a couple different players he didn’t want on the team,” Lane stated. “Threatening them saying it was either his way or he would take their future away from them, put them on a one year scholarship probation.”
But it wasn’t just during his time at Tennessee that Lane had issues with Jones. He claimed that Jones affected his chances of making it into the NFL as well.
“I heard back from some agents (when trying to get into the NFL) that I had bad character,” Lane claimed. “(Jones said) I had also not met up to the criteria he was looking for and wasn’t talented enough and had a bad influence on teammates.
“Since my freshman year I never had a problem performing on the field…when people get at him about why I’m not playing, it’s always ‘his off field habits.’ I never failed a drug test or done nothing to get me in that kind of situation.”
Lane also claimed that he heard back from agents that he “couldn’t read playbooks” from his time at Tennessee. “I went through four different offenses at UT. Reading a playbook was never a problem,” Lane said. “I did what I could, put my head down and still tried to perform for UT, but it’s limited when the coaches take you out and tell you this is why you ain’t playing and this and that.”
He also added that he didn’t feel like his skill set was utilized properly at Tennessee and that he felt slighted on game days.
“I feel like I wasn’t used like I was supposed to,” Lane said. He would add that he would get the majority of the snaps during practice during the week, but then Saturday would come and he wouldn’t see the field as much as he felt was warranted given how he performed in practice. “But I just went through school and did what I did, never wanted to complain,” Lane continued. “Now I’m living a good life.”
Lane finished by saying that he has kept in contact with other players who have played for Jones and have since moved on. And he says those players have noticed a drastic difference since leaving Tennessee.
“They say it’s like a whole different world than playing under Coach Jones,” Lane said of the former Vols. “I had a whole lot of fun my first two years at UT, then when he got there it just went downhill.”