Breaking: Lawsuit claims Butch Jones called former player a ‘traitor’

There is more big news concerning Tennessee’s football program, and it still isn’t good news.

Neyland Stadium, University of Tennessee - Knoxville. //Photo by Ryan McGill

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Per a report from The Tennessean, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones told former Tennessee wide receiver Drae Bowles that Bowles “betrayed the team” after Bowles was punched in the mouth by linebacker Curt Maggitt.

Bowles, now at UT-Chattanooga, was cited in the Title IX lawsuit against the University of Tennessee.

According to the suit, Bowles “broke down crying” after Jones’ remark, and Tennessee’s head coach later called back to apologize.

The lawsuit states that Bowles helped one of the alleged rape victims, who have gone unnamed, by taking one victim to the hospital, supporting her decision to report the incident to the authorities and taking her home.

Per the lawsuit, one of the victims claims she witnessed Bowles being “jumped” by Maggitt and other teammates the next day with an athletic coach present, and another altercation is said to have occurred in the team facility.

The lawsuit also claims that during a later confrontation, Maggitt punched Bowles, causing his lip to bleed, after which Jones made the “traitor” remark toward Bowles.

Another altercation occurred in the athletic dining hall, Smokey’s Grill, the next day, according to the lawsuit filing.

The filing states that Bowles purposefully sat alone, but teammates Geraldo Orta and Marlin Lane confronted him.

Words were exchanged, but strength coach Brandon Myles broke up the incident before it went any further, according to the filing.

The lawsuit also states that Orta and Lane followed Bowles out of the cafeteria, but Myles physically intervened once more before a fight broke out.

Orta was quoted as saying that “people got shot” for doing what Bowles did.

Orta was also quoted as saying that Jones instructed players to “stay away from Bowles” as he was given time away from the program, according to the suit, and that Jones did not discipline Orta, Lane or Maggitt for their actions.

Two plaintiffs, Jane Doe IV, who claims she was assaulted, and her roommate, Jane Doe V, who witnessed the altercation in the dining hall, say that the football team’s treatment of Bowles following the incident played a major role in their decisions to leave UT, according to the suit.

In their updated lawsuit, the plaintiffs also say, “Drae Bowles had acted with the utmost kindness and strength of character toward Jane Doe IV, her friends and Jane Doe. For his kindness and courage he was beaten up, called a traitor by his head football coach and ostracized from the team by Coach Jones and other players.”

The Tennessee Journalist will continue to report on this story as more information becomes available.

Featured image by Ryan McGill

Edited by Cody McClure

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Sports editor Jake Nichols has been part of the TNJN staff in two different capacities. His freshman and sophomore years, Jake worked as a staff writer before moving on to write for Rocky Top Insider, and he also worked with VFL Films and the SEC Network for a semester his junior year. When asked the summer before his senior year to return to TNJN as the sports editor, Jake jumped at the chance to end his time in Knoxville working with the organization he first began with as a freshman. Jake is excited to help lead younger writers, much like former editors Cody McClure and Jordan Dajani aided him. Jake also does freelance sports coverage and photography for The Mountain Press in Sevierville, Tenn., and in his spare time, he can be found with family, his girlfriend or driving his Jeep, most likely with his Canon in tow. Be sure and follow Jake on Twitter and Instagram at @jnichols_2121, and keep up with TNJN Sports on Twitter as well!

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