Does Butch Jones deserve an opportunity to finish out the season at Tennessee?
One Vols beat writer apparently believes so.
SEC Country’s Mike Griffith, a frequent guest of the Paul Finebaum Show on SEC Network, said during an appearance on Thursday that there’s no reason “to go the interim route” unless Tennessee “isn’t competitive” against Kentucky.
“As long as Tennessee is compliant and players are happy and there’s no one complaining to the AD about mistreatment I don’t know why you’d go the interim route,” Griffith said. “I don’t know why you wouldn’t give Butch Jones an opportunity to finish the season unless Tennessee is just not competitive. If they’re not competitive against Kentucky, the curtain’s going down and Butch Jones will be checking out at Kroger Field.”
Tennessee enters Saturday’s game as a four-point underdog, according to Vegas Insider. The Vols are facing a team they have only lost to once in a span of 32 years.
Griffith, who has long been a defender of Jones, continued his stance by claiming Jones deserved the chance to coach the remainder of the season and potentially keep his job, despite Tennessee fans and former players’ lack of complacency with mediocrity.
“They haven’t won the SEC Eastern Division since 2007 or an SEC title since 1998 and I didn’t put the orange on and bleed for Tennessee like these former players who are going through a lot of pain,” Griffith said. “So I can’t pretend to understand their perspective. I can give you my perspective sitting from an objective seat. I see a guy who’s rebuilt the program in four years like few other coaches in the country and obviously right now a lot of people don’t think he deserves the opportunity to finish the job.”
Tennessee and Kentucky will kickoff at 7:30 pm on Saturday on SEC Network.