Report: Antone Davis Claims Butch Jones’ Wife Spread False Info

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    (photo via The Knoxville News Sentinel)

    Back in late October, Vol For Life Coordinator Antone Davis resigned from his position and cited a “hostile work environment” as to why he was stepping down. Now the former VFL Coordinator is claiming Barb Jones, the wife of former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, has been spreading false information about him.

    In an email to John Currie in late October, Davis claimed that working under Butch Jones “has been one of the worst experiences I have ever had” and said that he wasn’t leaving Tennessee because he wanted to but rather “I am leaving because I must.”

    An email to Reid Sigmon, Tennessee’s executive associate athletic director, from November 2nd was obtained by the Knoxville News Sentinel. And in the email, Davis claims that Barb Jones had been telling current Vol players that he had been fired rather than stepping down.

    “I want you to know that I have been contacted by three different people that have stated that Barb Jones, Butch’s wife, has told some parent(s) of our current-student athletes that I was fired because I was leaking information to the media,” Davis wrote to Sigmon. “This is absolutely untrue and it is exactly the type of thing I feared would happen.”

    Davis would go on to write to Sigmon that he didn’t want to make a public statement about stepping down and added that he didn’t have confidence that Butch Jones would help make a “smooth transition” for him.

    “I said to you that I would like to have a quiet and smooth transition and that I would not have anything more to say,” Davis wrote to Sigmon. “I also stated that I did not have confidence that Coach Jones would do the same and you reassured me that it would not be an issue.”

    But according to Davis, Jones and his family haven’t helped his transition away from Tennessee be the kind of transition he envisioned.

    “I have not made any statements or comments concerning my decision to resign,” Davis wrote. “However, if needed, I can make a public statement concerning this matter and the circumstances surrounding it in order to protect my character and my name.

    “Also note that if this continues, I will not hesitate to seek legal counsel so as to make sure my name is not slandered.”

    Davis had been the Vols’ VFL Coordinator since August 2012 before stepping down this football season. It still remains unclear if the VFL Coordinator position will be filled moving forward, and new Tennessee head football coach Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t had a chance to comment on the situation.



    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.