In a resignation email obtained by WNML, former Vol Antone Davis said he resigned as Vol For Life coordinator in part due to harsh behavior he received from Butch Jones.
From Jimmy Hyam’s blog:
Former Vol Antone Davis said he submitted his letter of resignation Oct. 31 as VFL coordinator because he endured “constant intimidation, bullying and mental abuse from Tennessee coach Butch Jones.
In another email Davis sent to (John) Currie, Davis said he mentioned concerns to Currie as far back as Sept. 22 without Currie taking any action.
“I want you to know that I am not leaving Tennessee because I want to,” Davis wrote in the 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 also wrote: “In closing, I deeply regret that things have been allowed to transpire, causing a high level of anxiety and other health issues thus creating my need to resign.”
There’s a lot to digest from this still-evolving situation. This echoes GoVols247’s initial report on the situation, which reported Davis’ situation as a hostile work environment. We know that former Vol players have spoken out far and wide both in support of Davis and against the university since reports of his resignation came to light.
Now, having finally gotten a glimpse from his point of view, it’s interesting to think about the potential time gaps going on here. Davis says he first wrote Currie concerns the day before the Vols played UMass in the week following the loss to Florida. On the field, that loss seemingly began the downhill plunge that Tennessee is currently in. Could it have played a role off the field, as well?
More from the blog:
Davis said that working under Jones “has been one of the worst experiences I have ever had.”
Asked for comment, Jones issued this statement through football sports information director Zach Stipe: “I wish Antone Davis well and thank him for his work as Tennessee’s Vol For Life Coordinator.”
Those are some strong words from Davis. Maybe not so strong from Jones.
***NSFW language below***
This just adds on to today’s edition of “As The Hill Burns.” Yesterday, former Tennessee and All-Pro defensive tackle and noted Twitter critic Albert Haynesworth was fed the hell up, folks:
— Hydra Headphones (@haynesworthiii) November 2, 2017
That tweet came a day after reports said Tennessee former offensive lineman and top-10 NFL Draft pick Davis submitted a resignation later after five years in order to pursue personal business opportunities.
Haynesworth is just the latest former Vol to speak on their relationship with Davis and give their thoughts on the situation. Albeit, Haynesworth’s is certainly the most provocative.
Much love to one of the greatest VOLS and selfless men I've had the chance to learn from and grow a relationship with, Antone Davis! 🤙🏾
— Curt Maggitt (@CurtMaggitt) November 1, 2017
@Antone_Davis I appreciate everything you’ve done for me & our university! great mentor & great VFL good luck in your next chapter
— Ja'Wuan James (@JawuanJames70) November 2, 2017
— Jayson Swain (@SwainEvent) November 2, 2017
Thank you @Antone_Davis for giving your all for Tennessee and being a positive influence to the young men within the program. Much respect!
— Joey Kent (@joeykent) November 2, 2017
— Juice Davis (@jabaridavis_VFL) November 2, 2017
It’s evident that Davis is a beloved and respected figure to many former and current Vols and his departure is most likely another damning side-effect of the current culture and problems that the football program has at the moment.
This is certainly not the first time that Haynesworth has criticized the current state of the Vols, though, most of his frustrations being vented via his iPhone’s notes app:
— Hydra Headphones (@haynesworthiii) October 31, 2017
— Hydra Headphones (@haynesworthiii) October 14, 2017
You got to tell me this is a fucking joke! Butch was a bandmember he didn’t even play football? No wonder we are fucking champions of life!! pic.twitter.com/p0FSOYD8Tx
— Hydra Headphones (@haynesworthiii) October 2, 2017
So THAT’s where the “bandmaster” and “bandmate” insults originated from!
Like a large portion of the fanbase, Haynesworth and other players have been vocal about their frustrations with the direction of their program. With Davis’ resignation on the heels of a loss to Kentucky, an 0-5 start in conference play and the alleged mistreatment of offensive tackle Brett Kendrick’s concussion last Saturday, the heat is certainly being turned up on Currie and the UT administration to act before the situation on Rocky Top gets even more chaotic.