Butch Jones addresses phone calls made to police
Phone records obtained by Local 8 News show that University of Tennessee Head Football Coach Butch Jones made a call to Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch on November 16, 2014, the same day former U.T. players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams were accused of rape.
On November 18th, the day DNA samples were collected from both men, phone records show Jones again called Chief David Rausch.
Jones released the following statement regarding the phone calls:
"Anytime we have a disciplinary issue with a player, we have as many conversations as needed with players, parents, law enforcement, whomever until we can be sure that we are making the best decision possible. These are decisions that can be life-changing for these individuals. After taking into account all the information we could gather in this case, we made the decision to suspend two student-athletes from the team immediately.”
Phone records also show Jones called Drae Bowles and his father during the same time period. A lawsuit against U.T. claims Bowles was beaten up by teammates after trying to help the alleged rape victim. Butch Jones released a statement regarding those phone calls as well:
“Regarding the calls to Drae Bowles and his father, I care about Drae as a person and as a player and have frequent communications with players or their parents. I am very comfortable with everything Drae, Mr. Bowles, and I discussed, and I wish him nothing but the very best. My intent was to support Drae and make sure he was ok. There’s nothing more important to me than the ultimate success in the life of our students.”
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch says, "When we investigate an alleged crime involving an athlete at UT, as a professional courtesy, our long standing practice has been that we alert the head Coach and staff. At no time is any information shared with the university that would hinder or jeopardize any investigation. The purpose of the notification is due to the scrutiny these events bring to allow appropriate time to prepare responses to the various interests. Our paramount concern at KPD is to the victims and their families and to assure them that we will utilize every resource available to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation. That is our commitment to all citizens that we serve."