Butch Jones says of event countering Nick Saban: 'I'll do anything in Tennessee'

Jones to talk four days before Saban

Earl Neikirk/ Bristol Herald Courier
Tennessee football coach Butch Jones yells for the drivers to start their engines to start the Food City 500 race on Sunday in Bristol.

Photo by Earl Neikirk

Earl Neikirk/ Bristol Herald Courier Tennessee football coach Butch Jones yells for the drivers to start their engines to start the Food City 500 race on Sunday in Bristol.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban agreed to speak in Athens, Tenn., on June 11 at a chamber of commerce event.

In Cleveland, 30 miles down Interstate 75, there’s some new competition four days earlier.

Tennessee coach Butch Jones has agreed to speak to the Bradley Sunrise Rotary group at a charity event on June 7.

Coincidence? Not quite.

The organizers of the “Cleveland Rocks Butch Jones” rally say they plan to outdraw Saban’s event so that Jones will win the “battle of the speaking coaches.”

Jones told the News Sentinel he doesn’t view his appearance as a slap at Saban.

“If I can, I’ll do anything in the state of Tennessee,” Jones said. “Cleveland’s a big part of us.”

The event will be at Bradley County High School and will be emceed by former UT quarterback Erik Ainge. Tickets are not yet on sale. Tennessee Sports Radio said in a release that tickets will eventually be available on its website.

As of last month, the Athens Chamber said roughly 1,000 tickets had been sold to the Saban event, rivaling the largest crowd in the group’s history.

The decision to invite Saban prompted backlash from some fans on message boards and talk radio.

Rob Preston, the chamber’s president, said he’s a Tennessee fan and that he expects Saban to speak more about leadership than football during his talk.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 188

ACWLY writes:

Rob Preston says he's a Tennessee fan but his heart is still in Alabama. I can live with that but having a 1,000 Alabama fans in Athens is sorta hard to swallow. I'll be getting a ticket to the Coach Jones affair in Cleveland but I WON'T drive through Athens to get there! VFL!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

CBJ..I love the competitive fire you possess, win some games this year and you will be loved..

frblalack writes:

Athens Tennessee does NOT ROCK if you're a Tennessee Vol!

Vols don't need that kind of "loyalty"...what a bunch of ill-conceived ideas from the Athens Chamber. They really should explain & apologize to Coach Butch Jones & his staff for inviting Saban to recruit. Pitiful!

tovolny writes:

Who gives a flying flip about where Saban speaks. It is what the speaker says that counts. I think it was a good speaker selection. I am a DIE HARD Vol fan, and I plan on going there to hear what the man has to say. I believe the coaches have enough sense not to wind up in a speaking war. Football is a GAME, having the purpose of entertaining us...it should not be a WAR producing serious alterations to our life-styles. If Saban's presents steals away a recruit or two, then so be it...I'll chalk it up as sour grapes and "Keep on Keeping on"...as Coach Majors used to say.

notorange writes:

Maybe i'm missing the big picture here, but how does this benefit either school?

pingkr62 writes:

I won't be able to attend the function in Cleveland, since I reside in N.W. Mississippi, but if the information is available, I'll buy a pair of tickets anyway. Go C.B.J. and G.B.O.!!!

thevoice writes:

Pretty classless move by the Athens Chamber. I know Jones will handle this with class; timing is terrible.

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

say what

Geofffourmyle writes:

in response to tovolny:

Who gives a flying flip about where Saban speaks. It is what the speaker says that counts. I think it was a good speaker selection. I am a DIE HARD Vol fan, and I plan on going there to hear what the man has to say. I believe the coaches have enough sense not to wind up in a speaking war. Football is a GAME, having the purpose of entertaining us...it should not be a WAR producing serious alterations to our life-styles. If Saban's presents steals away a recruit or two, then so be it...I'll chalk it up as sour grapes and "Keep on Keeping on"...as Coach Majors used to say.

Only problem with your statement is that Nick Saban is a very poor representative for college football.

The guy is more ethically challenged than Richard Nixon.

Wow, that dates me. How about a comparison with our national sociopath George W. Bush?

Quoting the very very average Johnny Majors is the cherry on top demolishing your argument.

Walt

UT '81

chipmurphy461 writes:

Keep up the good work Coach Jones

orange_eVOLution writes:

Butch Jones is the man. He gets it done.

keepitreal4vols writes:

I've got it, somebody hide all the Chambers' phone books and milk crates. Therefore, Saban won't be able to reach the microphone and won't be heard nor seen.

SeaBassHauling writes:

Athens is home of Mayfield milk....Hit the town and area where it hurts...!!! Boycott Mayfield.....! The stuffs over priced and never understood why people couldn't live without it...?!!! Bluebell Ice cream is better in my opinion...And trust me when I say this because I'm a truck driver and go all over...Milk companies all over the states have just as good or in most cases better milk...plus with cheaper prices....!!! Mayfield doesn't try to compete or lower prices they just expect consumers to continue to pay outrageous prices....Everytime I look and checkout there prices I just shake my head and can't believe what people continue to take off of them....!...before I catch slack about this....NO I'm not frugal....! I eat out every day on the road....NOW.....!!! Here is what really pisses me OFF....! They have put up a billboard on the interstate with a pic of SATAN and him holding the crystal ball....!!! Do you think in the state of AlaLooooooSerS.....!!! Would they or anyone in that state be willing to put up a billboard of our coach holding the crystall ball...??? EVER...?!!! NO...WAY...! Get real people this isn't something to take lightly....Why do you think that CBJ is NOW gonna speak before SATAN...!....IF you want them and the rest off the state to wake up....Then you show them as fans...! Fans don't have to be diplomatic and polite...!!! That's the difference right now in our program and with our counterparts...We have got to stop being so polite and nice....We have the best fans out there but sometimes you got to say enough is enough....!!! Spread the word and get it out there and put the hurt on them...This will STOP!!! VFL GBO

budd#207344 writes:

Grow up

SeaBassHauling writes:

in response to thevoice:

Pretty classless move by the Athens Chamber. I know Jones will handle this with class; timing is terrible.

I agree and you are correct...The timing is bad...BUT the billboard is something they should be ashamed of....! I don't care how many fans they have in the area...This is Tennessee not Alabama....Do you think that they would ever allow a UT Coach and the crystall ball on a billboard in there Lousy state??? NEVER

SeaBassHauling writes:

in response to frblalack:

Athens Tennessee does NOT ROCK if you're a Tennessee Vol!

Vols don't need that kind of "loyalty"...what a bunch of ill-conceived ideas from the Athens Chamber. They really should explain & apologize to Coach Butch Jones & his staff for inviting Saban to recruit. Pitiful!

I think they already have...That's why CBJ is speaking before Satan...! But it's to late and they need to pay...! Inviting him is one thing....the billboards of SATAN and him holding the crystall ball out on the interstate that the recruits coming up here during spring practice and trying to get recruits is BS.....!!! Wake up people this is very big...!!!

Hounddog writes:

Perhaps the UT Band could conduct a practice add cannon fire! Pep Squad and cheerleader practice, all at the same.

Or, hire a moile PA vehicle and drive around with blasting speakers

"free false teeth at Wal-Mart"?

The Hounddog

Hounddog writes:

mobile Pa vehicle

oldster writes:

I used to love Athens. It has a very classic courthouse. Evidently, the chamber of commerce needs to take some lessons on class from its architect.

jt45 writes:

Ok the billboard is more insulting than Saban speaking before a bunch suits. I wonder why this was put together in UTs backyard. Why not Nashville
or Memphis ? Seems a bit fishy, Athens Tn,,Really?
So Preston says its just about Leadership, not Football and they put up a Billboard of Saban holding the trophy. LOL!

Im beginning to think that coach Jones just might be getting Sabans attention for him to prance around in Athens. I wonder what the Chamber is taking in for all this good will ?

Can you imagine Jones going down to Alabubba for a leadership speech with such a billboard ? I cant. But then again Im just a fan not a politician.

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to jt45:

Ok the billboard is more insulting than Saban speaking before a bunch suits. I wonder why this was put together in UTs backyard. Why not Nashville
or Memphis ? Seems a bit fishy, Athens Tn,,Really?
So Preston says its just about Leadership, not Football and they put up a Billboard of Saban holding the trophy. LOL!

Im beginning to think that coach Jones just might be getting Sabans attention for him to prance around in Athens. I wonder what the Chamber is taking in for all this good will ?

Can you imagine Jones going down to Alabubba for a leadership speech with such a billboard ? I cant. But then again Im just a fan not a politician.

You're the bubba for saying something so stupid. Get a grip people. It's a speaking engagement. I hardly think it will amount to an iota regarding recruiting or anything more than a talk. With your attitudes, I'd cancel the engagement if I were him. Then you can go find a real bubba.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Hang in there Coach Jones! I like your selection more and more each day. Keep recruiting and teaching fundamental football. Those tackling drills will pay off. Wrap up and continue to drive your legs......they don't teach it like they used to. Glad to see the positive adjustments.

Go You Mighty Vols!

laraccoon writes:

Say goodbye to your oak trees Athens .

Giverny writes:

I've heard Sabin speak formally and informally and he's not a great orator but lets face it he's much more adept than Jones.....

Speakifin just ain't Jones thing....now hyperbolic, gross exaggeration for effect and dangling participle's are.....as well as abusing any and all grammatical elements of the English language..

Seriously in regards to Jones being a representative of our highest academic institution is an embarrassment...

gc_scvol writes:

in response to RIGHTISBETTERTHANLEFT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Correction ! A loser is someone who trolls other programs websites and spews garbage. And motherfore CBJ fits in here a he!! of a lot better than you. Go away little girl. (My apologies ladies)

123forVOLS writes:

The fact that so much is being made of this is over the edge. It is a free country. I find it hard to see why Alabama's head coach would want to come to a small Tennessee town and speak. It would be great to get on with life and let these type issues go. I honestly believe the state of Tennessee will survive Coach Saban coming to speak in Athens. I don't like him. I don't like the fact he is coming. So, there is a host of other things I dislike but the world will not end because of that. The ridiculous media hype and attention causes people to waste time and attention on things like this. GOOD GRIEF!

Brewii writes:

in reponse to Geoffourmyle:

"How about a comparison with our national sociopath George W. Bush?

Quoting the very very average Johnny Majors is the cherry on top demolishing your argument."

And your first statement demolishes yours.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to Geofffourmyle:

Only problem with your statement is that Nick Saban is a very poor representative for college football.

The guy is more ethically challenged than Richard Nixon.

Wow, that dates me. How about a comparison with our national sociopath George W. Bush?

Quoting the very very average Johnny Majors is the cherry on top demolishing your argument.

Walt

UT '81

I'd rather have a "national sociopath" than a dictator wannabe....
noticed really offered nothing in the way of a counterpoint, just baseless comparisons. Business as usual for you, I suppose.

volfan1202 writes:

I could care less if Jones wins the “battle of the speaking coaches”. When we can beat Saban's team on the football field... then I'll be impressed.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to notorange:

Maybe i'm missing the big picture here, but how does this benefit either school?

I dunno... I always miss the point of you being here.

heyitsme writes:

in response to Geofffourmyle:

Only problem with your statement is that Nick Saban is a very poor representative for college football.

The guy is more ethically challenged than Richard Nixon.

Wow, that dates me. How about a comparison with our national sociopath George W. Bush?

Quoting the very very average Johnny Majors is the cherry on top demolishing your argument.

Walt

UT '81

You obviously are from one of O-failure's 57 states...

gc_scvol writes:

in response to heyitsme:

You obviously are from one of O-failure's 57 states...

And you obviously don't know the difference between a sports board and a political board. We really don't care what you think about politics. Don't bother to reply . Your thoughts have no merit.

mtnbikrtn writes:

When I am traveling south on I-75, I will make it a point to stop and eat and buy gas in Bradley County.

shoelessvol#236864 writes:

No TRUE Tennessee fan would have asked Coach Saban to speak at ANY function...and I don't care what kind of function! This shows no loyalty to the Vols. Kudos for CBJ or accepting the invitation to peak in Cleveland!This is BIG ORANGE COUNTRY for heaven's sake!!

usafvol writes:

in response to Giverny:

I've heard Sabin speak formally and informally and he's not a great orator but lets face it he's much more adept than Jones.....

Speakifin just ain't Jones thing....now hyperbolic, gross exaggeration for effect and dangling participle's are.....as well as abusing any and all grammatical elements of the English language..

Seriously in regards to Jones being a representative of our highest academic institution is an embarrassment...

You're the embarrassment Niles Crane..

usafvol writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I suspect thats why it's your favorite Nancy..

volnbig11land writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You make a disparaging remark about a great city. Yet you are the one who suggested they “whip em out.”

Are you curious, or intrigued?????

jgl#233810 writes:

in response to jt45:

Ok the billboard is more insulting than Saban speaking before a bunch suits. I wonder why this was put together in UTs backyard. Why not Nashville
or Memphis ? Seems a bit fishy, Athens Tn,,Really?
So Preston says its just about Leadership, not Football and they put up a Billboard of Saban holding the trophy. LOL!

Im beginning to think that coach Jones just might be getting Sabans attention for him to prance around in Athens. I wonder what the Chamber is taking in for all this good will ?

Can you imagine Jones going down to Alabubba for a leadership speech with such a billboard ? I cant. But then again Im just a fan not a politician.

re: "imagine Jones going to Bama for a leadership speech ..." etc

I can't imagine him being invited, he hasn't won anything of consequence yet.

jt45 writes:

in response to shoelessvol#236864:

No TRUE Tennessee fan would have asked Coach Saban to speak at ANY function...and I don't care what kind of function! This shows no loyalty to the Vols. Kudos for CBJ or accepting the invitation to peak in Cleveland!This is BIG ORANGE COUNTRY for heaven's sake!!

I agree and writing it off as simply a speaking function seems like just another way of not showing any respect for the Vols. No matter how
the Athens chamber wants to dress it up it still seems bit classless to put that billboard up this close to knoxville. There was a time when the Orange nation would not have allowed something like this no matter how it was disguised. Im not saying there is wrongful intent but rather that it a classless move by Saban, and the Athens Chamber members who sponsored it.

HopeisNotaCourseofAction writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Rob Preston says he's a Tennessee fan but his heart is still in Alabama. I can live with that but having a 1,000 Alabama fans in Athens is sorta hard to swallow. I'll be getting a ticket to the Coach Jones affair in Cleveland but I WON'T drive through Athens to get there! VFL!

1000 alabubba fans together? In my earlier Airborne Army days we would have called that a "target rich environment" and called for "fire for effect"...

volsxsnos writes:

I am a Tennessee Vol fan first. I am also a football fan. If having one of the greatest football minds in the history of the game speak at an event held by an organization which promotes and supports business and jobs, etc. bothers you, then maybe you should find another sport. Try this experiment, read some of the comments here and imagine the same words coming from Saban's mouth. THEN.....you would have something to B*&ch about!! Let's all show some Tennessee sportsmanship and support ANYONE lending a hand to improve our quality of life.
Volsxsnos <...........stepping down off my stump.

UTvols33 writes:

Oh, this again. I don't live in this part of the state so I haven't seen the billboard, but from what I gather from the above comments, that seems like a recruiting ploy and is crossing the line. On the other hand, I have to agree with jt45 up there. It does seem like Butch is getting some attention from lil' Nick. Saban might be a little concerned.

underthehill writes:

in response to jt45:

I agree and writing it off as simply a speaking function seems like just another way of not showing any respect for the Vols. No matter how
the Athens chamber wants to dress it up it still seems bit classless to put that billboard up this close to knoxville. There was a time when the Orange nation would not have allowed something like this no matter how it was disguised. Im not saying there is wrongful intent but rather that it a classless move by Saban, and the Athens Chamber members who sponsored it.

Exactly my thinking..total lack of class by both Saban and Athens.. have to say UT has asked for what they are getting..

murrayvol writes:

in response to jt45:

Ok the billboard is more insulting than Saban speaking before a bunch suits. I wonder why this was put together in UTs backyard. Why not Nashville
or Memphis ? Seems a bit fishy, Athens Tn,,Really?
So Preston says its just about Leadership, not Football and they put up a Billboard of Saban holding the trophy. LOL!

Im beginning to think that coach Jones just might be getting Sabans attention for him to prance around in Athens. I wonder what the Chamber is taking in for all this good will ?

Can you imagine Jones going down to Alabubba for a leadership speech with such a billboard ? I cant. But then again Im just a fan not a politician.

Can't imaging CBJ addressing the Mullet Nation right now......but after he win's a couple of national championships, sure.

underthehill writes:

in response to volsxsnos:

I am a Tennessee Vol fan first. I am also a football fan. If having one of the greatest football minds in the history of the game speak at an event held by an organization which promotes and supports business and jobs, etc. bothers you, then maybe you should find another sport. Try this experiment, read some of the comments here and imagine the same words coming from Saban's mouth. THEN.....you would have something to B*&ch about!! Let's all show some Tennessee sportsmanship and support ANYONE lending a hand to improve our quality of life.
Volsxsnos <...........stepping down off my stump.

Get back up on your stump..I can't hear you..say something worth listening to..and don't bother passing the plate..

jt45 writes:

in response to jgl#233810:

re: "imagine Jones going to Bama for a leadership speech ..." etc

I can't imagine him being invited, he hasn't won anything of consequence yet.

Neither have you Einstein and either your an Alabubba fan or your missing the point wich is Bamma fans would not support this in their backyard no matter who the coach was so why is it so hard for you to understand why Vol fans would feel any differently about it.

or maybe you just like taking cheap shots a CBJ in wich case your really not worth the reply I just gave you. Carry on.

murrayvol writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Can't imaging CBJ addressing the Mullet Nation right now......but after he win's a couple of national championships, sure.

"imagine" oh well, it's early....for me.

cheetah-vol writes:

I don't live near or have seen the billboard, but I hope they take it down before somebody does something stupid to it and things get really ugly. It's justifiable to feel angry about this event, but CBJ is rising above it. We should, too. Stay classy Vol fans.

jmaples54 writes:

in response to Giverny:

I've heard Sabin speak formally and informally and he's not a great orator but lets face it he's much more adept than Jones.....

Speakifin just ain't Jones thing....now hyperbolic, gross exaggeration for effect and dangling participle's are.....as well as abusing any and all grammatical elements of the English language..

Seriously in regards to Jones being a representative of our highest academic institution is an embarrassment...

you are indeed an embarrassment... to yourself.

don't go critiquing someone else's grammar when you misuse the apostrophe in "participles" and mangle the subject ("seriously in regards to jones being a representative of our highest academic institution" does not qualify as a subjective clause) of your last sentence.

i am not counting "speakifin" as a mistake. maybe it's just a colloquialism.

notorange writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

I dunno... I always miss the point of you being here.

I'm sorry to offend you sir, i was under the impression this was a open discussion site, since i don't think i said anything offensive i will just say thanks for your service to our country but just be reminded you are protecting our right for free speech among other things...sorry i took advantage of that.

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