Butch Jones still looms large over Tennessee’s football program. But not for much longer according to UT’s chancellor.
A large photo of Jones is still prominently plastered on the back of the Jumbotron in Neyland Stadium. It’s been over a month and a half since Jones was fired as Tennessee’s head football coach, yet his picture has remained on display on the back of UT’s most recognizable construct.
But according to UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport, that photo will soon be coming down.
A Vol fan on Twitter tagged Davenport in a tweet as they made a plea for the photo of Jones to be removed as soon as possible in 2018. And Davenport, from her real Twitter account (it’s not a fake one as far as I can tell, though she’s not verified on Twitter as of yet), replied to the tweet with the following statement:
Please hang on. A crane has been ordered.
— Beverly Davenport (@ChancellorDav) January 2, 2018
Before Jones’ photo was placed on the Jumobotron, photos of National Championship-winning head coach Phillip Fulmer and former Vol quarterback Condredge Holloway were on the back of the Jumbotron along with General Neyland. But Jones replaced Fulmer in 2014, and Holloway was replaced by Reggie White, another Vol legend. Holloway was the first black quarterback to ever play in the SEC, and White is a member of both the collegiate and NFL Hall of Fame and was Tennessee’s career sack leader until Derek Barnett surpassed him in 2016.
When Jones’ photo was added in 2014, UT issued a statement via a spokesperson that detailed the decision to remove Fulmer and place the photo of Jones on the Jumbotron:
“The images are changed out by the Vol Network and the athletics department periodically. This is for a variety of reasons, including the opportunity to portray our rich history as well as our current brand. Also, from time to time, the sun and weather elements affect the images and they need to be changed out.”
It is unclear at this time what photo will go up to replace Jones once his photo is taken down, and it’s also unclear if Reggie White’s photo will remain.
Keep in mind, this is just a tweet from Chancellor Davenport. There has been no official word from UT as of yet about Jones’ photo on the Jumbotron. We will update as more information comes out.