VFL Coordinator: I resigned over "mental abuse" from Butch Jones

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Jimmy Hyams with Sports Radio WNML wrote on his blog Friday that Former VFL Coordinator for the University of Tennessee, Antone Davis, said he submitted his resignation on Oct. 31 following six years of "constant intimidation, bullying and mental abuse" from Volunteer football Head Coach Butch Jones.

Davis' admission was made in an Oct. 31 email to UT athletic director John Currie. Local 8 News obtained copies of those emails.

In that email, Davis said, "I had always dreamed of coming back and being able to contribute to the continued success of the athletic program." However, Davis continued by saying his work with Coach Jones "has been one of the worst work experiences I have ever had."

When WNML asked for comment from Jones, his information director Zach Stipe released the following statement: "I wish Antone Davis well and thank him for his work as Tennessee's Vol For Life Coordinator."

In Davis' resignation email, WNML reports Davis said he had not received a merit raise despite his "outstanding performance reviews," though he was given university-wide 1.5 to 3 percent raises. His salary at the time of his resignation was about $69,000, according to WNML. A source told WNML Jones had previously requested a raise for Davis from his administration, though it was denied. The source said Davis was not made aware of that request.

Davis sent another email to Currie in which he mentioned concerns about Jones as far back as Sept. 22; however, he said no action was taken.

Davis cited an apparent meeting with Currie in which he said he felt the athletics director "staring me down as you sat across the table from me. I am not sure why you needed to do that but it was very uncomfortable and I felt it hostile. I simply hope that you take action regarding the statements I brought to you on Sept. 22nd of which I have seen no tangible action taken on those concerns, or the statements in my resignation letter today."

"I want you to know that I am not leaving Tennessee because I want to," Davis wrote in that email. "I am leaving because I must. My biggest regret and fear is that I am leaving behind student-athletes and co-workers that may be subjected to the same treatment I have received."

Davis played as a UT All-American offensive lineman and was the No. 8 overall pick in the 1991 NFL draft. He played in the NFL for seven seasons. He was also runner-up in 2011 on "The Biggest Loser" television program in which he lost 202 pounds.

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