Tennessee fired head football coach Butch Jones on November 12th with two games remaining in what turned out to be the worst season in Vol football history. Fast forward three and a half months later, and his photo is still prominently displayed on Tennessee’s football stadium.
But now that long nightmare may finally be coming to an end for Vol fans.
According to a report from WVLT, work has finally be scheduled to take down Jones’ photo from the back of the Jumbotron video screen on Neyland Stadium. Work is set to begin on Monday, but “weather conditions could determine how long it will be before fans see the Jumbotron Butch Jones-free” the report states.
UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport replied to a fan on Twitter back on January 2nd that a “crane has been ordered” to remove the photo, but no new news came any time after that reply. Now work will finally begin two months after Davenport sent that tweet.
Before Jones’ photo was placed on the Jumobotron, photos of National Championship-winning head coach Phillip Fulmer (now Tennessee’s Athletics Director) 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. Tennessee may completely overhaul the Jumbotron or simply replace Jones’ photo with another.
We will provide updates as they occur.