Work is finally scheduled to begin on bringing down Butch Jones’ photo from the back of Neyland Stadium’s Jumbotron next week. But his photo won’t be the only one coming down according to Tennessee’s Athletics Director.
In an interview with the Knoxville News Sentinel, UT AD Phillip Fulmer confirmed that work is supposed to begin on Monday, March 5th to finally remove former head coach Butch Jones’ photo from the back of the Jumbotron. But according to Fulmer, his photo isn’t the only one coming off the back of the video board.
All three photos currently on the back of the Jumbotron are set to be taken off. Jones, General Robert Neyland, and Reggie White are the three photos currently on the back of the Jumbotron. Neyland’s photo will be replaced with a different photo of him, but as for the other two? Fulmer didn’t specify.
“We’re going to have some fun to celebrate that,” Fulmer said during the interview.
A report surfaced on Wednesday that claimed former Tennessee linebacker Al Wilson would be the photo that replaced Jones’ on the Jumbotron. But Fulmer neither confirmed nor denied that.
The current three photos have been on the Jumbotron since October of 2014. Jones’ photo replaced one of Fulmer hoisting the Vols’ 1998 National Championship trophy, and White’s photo replaced a picture of former quarterback Condredge Holloway.
One day, however, Fulmer hopes to honor more than just three people on the back of the Jumbotron.
“I personally hope that eventually we get a digital board up there so we can celebrate a lot of people and a lot of things,” Fulmer added.
Fans have been frustrated over how long it’s taken to finally get Jones’ photo down off the Jumbotron. Jones was fired as Tennessee’s head coach on November 12th, and his photo has persisted on the back of the video board for the last three and a half months. Fulmer noted that UT Chancellor Beverly Davneport received a lot of criticism for it taking so long, but stated that she “has zero control of any of that” and that she’s “taken a lot of grief over it.”
“She certainly encouraged us to move along quicker,” Fulmer said of Davenport. “It took time to get the process started. The crane was broken for a long period of time, and getting the resolution of everything done for the ones we’re putting up wasn’t quite what it needed to be for a bit.
“It’s just taken longer than we would’ve liked for it to.”
Tennessee’s Orange & White Game is scheduled for April 21st. Fulmer did not comment on whether or not the work on the Jumbotron would be done by then, but the report from Gridiron Now claiming Al Wilson would be the photo to replace Jones stated that work should be concluded by then.