New details on Troy Wills, burglary at Thompson-Boling Arena office

Troy Wills

Photo by Knox County Sheriff's Office

Troy Wills

New details surrounding former University of Tennessee men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach Troy Wills and the burglary and vandalism at Thompson-Boling Arena were released Thursday.

Now there is a statement.

And spray paint.

And a cooler.

Wills was arrested earlier this week on charges of burglary and vandalism after police say he used a saw to break into a locked office at Thompson-Boling Arena early Saturday morning. In the arrest warrant, Wills was said to have sawed his way into the office of Bill Whitesell, a UT event management director, “ransacked” the room causing $750 in damages to university property and stole $4,150 in cash from Whitesell’s desk.

Knox County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Hillary Coward said Thursday that Wills was arrested around noon Monday and posted $12,500 bond at 1:36 a.m. Tuesday. The arrest was made by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, while the University of Tennessee Police Department handled the investigation.

As a condition of his release, Wills was barred from UT property. Wills is scheduled in court for arraignment March 6.

In a UTPD supplement case report obtained Thursday by the News Sentinel, it’s learned Wills, 37, also covered “several doors, fixtures, and appliances” with orange spray paint and set fire to university property.

The UTPD report says, Wills “made forcible entry into (Whitsell’s) office and may have possibly stolen some items out of his office.” At about 3:50 a.m. Saturday, Wills is said to “walk down the hallway carrying a saw in his right hand,” before attempting to enter an office at 3:53 a.m. with a key.

Per the report, “Mr. Wills then walks off camera and returns with another saw,” before entering Whitesell’s office.

The report added charred remains of a Gatorade cooler, a trash can containing a Sentry safe and Whitsell’s briefcase “containing several documents” were turned over from the Knox County Sheriff’s department to UTPD.

According to UTPD lieutenant Donnie Ross, those items were believed to have been found outside Wills’ West Knoxville apartment.

The cooler and safe belong to UT director of sports medicine Chad Newman, according to the UTPD report.

Wills spent eight seasons working in the university athletic department before being let go last offseason by coach Cuonzo Martin.

The News Sentinel visited Wills’ apartment Wednesday. He did not answer, nor was a car present. He did not respond to a note seeking comment.

In a statement to the News Sentinel on Thursday, Gregory P. Isaacs, Wills’ attorney, said, “Troy Wills enjoyed his tenure as a strength coach for the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team and he continues to have the highest respect for the University of Tennessee and University of Tennessee athletics. Currently, Troy is in treatment for a medical condition. Afterwards, it is the intent of Mr. Wills to resolve the unfortunate issues that have occurred over the past few days. He appreciates the support from his family friends.”

Asked if Wills has obtained any employment since being let go by UT, Isaacs said he did not know.

In the original arrest warrant, police say video shows Wills walking down a Thompson-Boling Arena hallway “with what appears to be a saw in his hand” and “attempting to hide (the saw) underneath his coat” at 3:53 a.m. Saturday. The affidavit said he was next seen on camera leaving at 4:31 a.m.

UT athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton said Thursday that university officials had no comment on the theft.

According to Ross, the $4,150 stolen from Whitesell’s office was his own money, not university funds. The UTPD supplement report states the money was in “unknown denominations divided into two separate envelopes." Additionally, Whitesell's checkbook was stolen, according to the report.

The break-in occurred several hours after a professional bull-riding event at the arena on Saturday night.

Wills also was arrested on a separate theft charge for allegedly taking a $100 bottle of tanning cream from Fusion Tanning Studio on Kingston Pike on Dec. 5. According to the affidavit, Wills was contacted about the incident and agreed to return and pay for the product, but he never did so.

The two charges stemming from the Thompson-Boling Arena break-in are felonies.

The burglary charge is a Class D felony carrying a $7,500 bond. The vandalism charge is a Class E felony carrying a $5,000 bond.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.

---

Related documents

UTPD report outlining burglary and vandalization of William Whitesell's office at Thompson-Boling Arena

Incident report on former University of Tennessee men's basketball strength and conditioning coach Troy Willis.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.

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Comments » 39

volspaws writes:

It should be a crime for a man to even OWN a tube of tanning cream...stealing a tube is unspeakable.....dig deeper and we'll probably learn that this guy has a Crimson Tide or Gator background.

pvvol writes:

Weird!

keepitreal4vols writes:

Thats some kind of crazy

LiveFaith writes:

Another letdown of losing Lane Kiffin. He would have been caught red handed by the wonder boy who would certainly have been in the offices before 4AM out-recruiting Urban.

TexasVolMD writes:

Sign of the times...Our event manager only has $4,150 in his office.

opvol writes:

KNS...I need to see a pic of this tanning bed using cash stealing saw weadling stupid arse idiot! By the sound of it he should be in the mug shot hall of fame!!

TexasVolMD writes:

in response to opvol:

KNS...I need to see a pic of this tanning bed using cash stealing saw weadling stupid arse idiot! By the sound of it he should be in the mug shot hall of fame!!

They published an article earlier with a photo and you are right. Hall of Fame!

volforeverandever writes:

in response to cejensen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Cash was from the bull riding event I would guess.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

My question is why wouldn't his attorney know if he had obtained employment or not? How does he expect to be paid? Somethings fishy about this whole thing.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to cejensen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You really are an a**h***

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

What is happening @ the Knoxville News Sentinel, regarding hiring of sports reporters?

Rarely do these reporters dig for facts, instead now they appear to be just jaunting over from the the news conference or practice, or police department; taking notes on what the coach, culprit, cop or player said; and publish what the university or coaches want published.Apparently folowing John Adams' lateral move years earlier, the reporters now go along to get along,

Often they seem to have forgotten basic journalism.

For instance, most journalists were taught to use the term "alleged," when referring to allegations of criminal activity, until such were proved in courts of law. In the lead paragraph, shown show below, nowhere is that word used at all.

Most newspaper stories find readers stop reading in the 4th paragraph of the story; thus many readers never learn the coach has not been convicted.

"New details surrounding former University of Tennessee men' s basketball strength and conditioning coach Troy Wills and the burglary and vandalism at Thompson-Boling Arena were released Thursday," says the newscopy in the above article.

Quinn reports as if the alleged criminal activity by the coach is proved, in that sentence. Then Quin goes into great detail, quoting from police documents and, perhaps, conversations with KPD people or their associates.

An attorney said to represent the former coach is quoted, but answers not many of what Quinn says are charges against the ex-coach. Yet the reporter lists in great detail the charges.

Allegations from either the campus police force or the KPD,which reportedly has a notorious chip-on-shoulder rearding the University or its teams need to be treated as merely allegations. They are not facts proved in a court of law.

Instead the reporter's covering this, from appearances, he did one of those rip-and-read coverages of a story.

I am not sure who is Sports Editorfor the KNS, since John Adams' was moved to the role of columnist only.

But clearly both these new reporters need an editor. That is NOT a putdown. Great reporters need editorial help and in many cases, supervision.

Convicting the man in the city's only newspaper guarantees he cannot get a fair trial in Knoxville.

So no matter what happens, the KNS has removed the blindfold on the lady holding the scales of justice...

despite the fact the reporter probably would not do so intentionally.

GoVols025 writes:

What is your point? Do you have a point?

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

Are the two Houston Brothers in any way involved in this too?

1vavolfan writes:

What type of medical condition causes one to steal tanning lotion, break into an office, steal money, and torch a gatorade cooler? Looks like he would know there were cameras present since he worked there 8 years, if he had enough sense to wear a mask he would have probably have gotten away with it.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

What type of medical condition causes one to steal tanning lotion, break into an office, steal money, and torch a gatorade cooler? Looks like he would know there were cameras present since he worked there 8 years, if he had enough sense to wear a mask he would have probably have gotten away with it.

Steroids, Can cause aggresion.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

My question is why wouldn't his attorney know if he had obtained employment or not? How does he expect to be paid? Somethings fishy about this whole thing.

Lawyers don't ask questions of their clients because they don't want to know the truth they want to know what the other side thinks they know.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to cejensen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Especially since there apparently a Sentry safe in the office, or at least a portable one since it was in a trash can. What would be the purpose of a safe if you can carry it off?

I'm also wondering about the saw he used. Unless it was a sawz-all how do you cut through a door with a hand saw?

jt45 writes:

I wonder how the accused knew that cash was there in the first place ? Has not been on staff for quite some time wich makes the question even more concerning. It would seem like event money would likely be deposited somewhere secure. I bet there is more to this mess than the public will ever know about. I hope he gets some help.

VolAlumbutBamaFootballFan writes:

in response to volspaws:

It should be a crime for a man to even OWN a tube of tanning cream...stealing a tube is unspeakable.....dig deeper and we'll probably learn that this guy has a Crimson Tide or Gator background.

Whats with blaming Bama & FL, is it because they kick Vols butt more times than not in football? The comments are talking about KPD, I didn't read where KPD had anything to do with this. By the way, what does KCSD have to do with it when UTPD is a state police department and the TBI, it seems, would be the investigators. Maybe I'm being petty, but just wondering. Roll Tide, back to back National Champions.

Now lets get behind the Lady Vols tonight and help them bring home another SEC Championship. Go Lady Vols.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to cejensen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Check to see if he's married. If so there's your answer.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

"Boy that was dumb" -

Nukese Richardson

CoverOrange writes:

in response to jt45:

I wonder how the accused knew that cash was there in the first place ? Has not been on staff for quite some time wich makes the question even more concerning. It would seem like event money would likely be deposited somewhere secure. I bet there is more to this mess than the public will ever know about. I hope he gets some help.

Appears to me he had a grudge against Whitsel and may have just lucked into the cash being there. Why else did he find it necessary to trash the place. I'm guessing he passed up a lot of other doors to get to Whitsel's.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to VolAlumbutBamaFootballFan:

Whats with blaming Bama & FL, is it because they kick Vols butt more times than not in football? The comments are talking about KPD, I didn't read where KPD had anything to do with this. By the way, what does KCSD have to do with it when UTPD is a state police department and the TBI, it seems, would be the investigators. Maybe I'm being petty, but just wondering. Roll Tide, back to back National Champions.

Now lets get behind the Lady Vols tonight and help them bring home another SEC Championship. Go Lady Vols.

You're an Alabama football fan but a Lady Vol fan. How in the world can that be? You couldn't really be very passionate about either

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

Check to see if he's married. If so there's your answer.

Witch Doctor agree! Witch Doctor hide loot from the Witch Doctor wife all the time and she hide the pool boys from Witch Doctor! its what makes the marriage work! lol
Bones never lie.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to cejensen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Now that was uncalled for.For one thing,how much cash he has in his desk is his own business,just as the cash I leave lying in my desk is no one's business.Some of you can't stand for others to be a sucess when you are not and will try anything to drag them down to your level. Not saying you are not sucessful,but your post indicates you aren't.If you don't like others being more successful than you,work harder to overcome them,but layoff the accusations until you know something you can back up.You are no better than a troll that is always trying to start rumors.

johnlg00 writes:

Sort of puts his dismissal last spring by Martin in a new light. Some people on here gave Martin a hard time for letting him go. Maybe he sensed something wasn't quite right with the guy. I'll be interested to see how this all turns out, if we ever DO see how it turns out.

LVFL90 writes:

in response to VolAlumbutBamaFootballFan:

Whats with blaming Bama & FL, is it because they kick Vols butt more times than not in football? The comments are talking about KPD, I didn't read where KPD had anything to do with this. By the way, what does KCSD have to do with it when UTPD is a state police department and the TBI, it seems, would be the investigators. Maybe I'm being petty, but just wondering. Roll Tide, back to back National Champions.

Now lets get behind the Lady Vols tonight and help them bring home another SEC Championship. Go Lady Vols.

I respectfully ask that you remove the "VolAlum" from your name - your lack of loyalty is a disgrace. They will certainly welcome you in Tuscaloosa - have a safe trip.

Volborn writes:

Envelopes full of cash....? That seems fishy. I might hand over a couple of those to Golden for the way he is leading this basketball team now.

volscantball writes:

The real story is the money in the two different envelopes. Somebody got some explaining to do.

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to cejensen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Take off the tin foil hat please.

Any business office small or large will have petty cash, and it says his checkbook was stolen. So most likely he handles both payment and petty cash office expenses. $4100 is nothing, a cashier at a huge resort or bar may have $500 in his/her bank to start a shift, so $4100 would open 8.2 cash registers, or so for an event. That's just one simple theory, the other could be he pays off vendors with both checks and cash, and $4100 wouldn't even be enough to hold a deposit on something huge, that could take $10,000 in cash or a cashier check. SO CALM DOWN, SIR!

scottgohn#454146 writes:

For all of you idiots looking for a conspiracy theory or some reason to blame Bill Whitesell, you are all way out of your minds. Notice I use my real name, so I'm not worried about hiding behind an alias to give you thoughts on Bill Whitesell. This guy is a good one. He bleeds orange and has for many many years. He is a good person with a ton invested in this university. Don't throw a good guy under the bus because your little conspiracy flag is raised. Bill Whitesell is not the problem here; it's the low life CRIMINAL who broke in and stole the money and vandalized the property.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

A man walks into a bar and shouts all lawyers are a-- holes, anybody got a problem with that? A big redneck confronts him and says, yes I have a problem with that. The man says then you must be a lawyer and the reply comes back, no I'm an a-- hole.

RememberWhen writes:

the only thing dumber than Wills doing these things is the amatuer sleuths on here that keep adding 1 and 1 to get 3! What a bunch of idiot a**h***s on this site!!

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

RememberWhen, you just proved your point, CONGRATULATIONS !!!

volforeverandever writes:

in response to tnoutlaw2001#228008:

Take off the tin foil hat please.

Any business office small or large will have petty cash, and it says his checkbook was stolen. So most likely he handles both payment and petty cash office expenses. $4100 is nothing, a cashier at a huge resort or bar may have $500 in his/her bank to start a shift, so $4100 would open 8.2 cash registers, or so for an event. That's just one simple theory, the other could be he pays off vendors with both checks and cash, and $4100 wouldn't even be enough to hold a deposit on something huge, that could take $10,000 in cash or a cashier check. SO CALM DOWN, SIR!

Good reply.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

the only thing dumber than Wills doing these things is the amatuer sleuths on here that keep adding 1 and 1 to get 3! What a bunch of idiot a**h***s on this site!!

Amen.

OrangeMike writes:

in response to tnoutlaw2001#228008:

Take off the tin foil hat please.

Any business office small or large will have petty cash, and it says his checkbook was stolen. So most likely he handles both payment and petty cash office expenses. $4100 is nothing, a cashier at a huge resort or bar may have $500 in his/her bank to start a shift, so $4100 would open 8.2 cash registers, or so for an event. That's just one simple theory, the other could be he pays off vendors with both checks and cash, and $4100 wouldn't even be enough to hold a deposit on something huge, that could take $10,000 in cash or a cashier check. SO CALM DOWN, SIR!

Did you people not read the story? It clearly said not university money - personal money - so everything you say is irrelevant. The question is what is this guy doing with that much cash in a desk drawer at work? So don't tell someone to calm down about something you obviously know nothing about. Something's rotten in Denmark. As for the comment above about being jealous of someone who is successful. I am very successful. I seldom have two nickels in my desk. I also know that people who have that much case around, are typically on the shady side - if for no other reason than dealing in cash to avoid taxes, which is shady.

dsbyrd#287440 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

What is happening @ the Knoxville News Sentinel, regarding hiring of sports reporters?

Rarely do these reporters dig for facts, instead now they appear to be just jaunting over from the the news conference or practice, or police department; taking notes on what the coach, culprit, cop or player said; and publish what the university or coaches want published.Apparently folowing John Adams' lateral move years earlier, the reporters now go along to get along,

Often they seem to have forgotten basic journalism.

For instance, most journalists were taught to use the term "alleged," when referring to allegations of criminal activity, until such were proved in courts of law. In the lead paragraph, shown show below, nowhere is that word used at all.

Most newspaper stories find readers stop reading in the 4th paragraph of the story; thus many readers never learn the coach has not been convicted.

"New details surrounding former University of Tennessee men' s basketball strength and conditioning coach Troy Wills and the burglary and vandalism at Thompson-Boling Arena were released Thursday," says the newscopy in the above article.

Quinn reports as if the alleged criminal activity by the coach is proved, in that sentence. Then Quin goes into great detail, quoting from police documents and, perhaps, conversations with KPD people or their associates.

An attorney said to represent the former coach is quoted, but answers not many of what Quinn says are charges against the ex-coach. Yet the reporter lists in great detail the charges.

Allegations from either the campus police force or the KPD,which reportedly has a notorious chip-on-shoulder rearding the University or its teams need to be treated as merely allegations. They are not facts proved in a court of law.

Instead the reporter's covering this, from appearances, he did one of those rip-and-read coverages of a story.

I am not sure who is Sports Editorfor the KNS, since John Adams' was moved to the role of columnist only.

But clearly both these new reporters need an editor. That is NOT a putdown. Great reporters need editorial help and in many cases, supervision.

Convicting the man in the city's only newspaper guarantees he cannot get a fair trial in Knoxville.

So no matter what happens, the KNS has removed the blindfold on the lady holding the scales of justice...

despite the fact the reporter probably would not do so intentionally.

I stopped reading in the fourth paragraph of your post.

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