A report by Trey Wallace and Oliver Connolly at The Read Optional has unearthed what appears to be incredibly damning knowledge by the Tennessee staff that it played someone with a concussion. If even half of the report is true, then embattled Butch Jones may be leaving town before another down is played.
And it won’t cost Tennessee a penny.
Communications received by The Read Optional show that Tennessee’s staff knowingly played a player with a concussion. Brett Kendrick, the team’s starting right tackle, played at least two quarters of Saturday’s loss against Kentucky with a concussion, per a source with knowledge of the situation.
“He is resting in a dark room. He doesn’t remember anything about the second half of the game”. A text received by The Read Optional reads. “They left him in until the last 22 seconds and only pulled him out because he finally threw up on the sideline.”
Kendrick (#63) was visibly wobbling throughout the second and third quarters. He missed assignments and often appeared unaware that the ball was even snapped.
The full story is even worse when paired with the video evidence of Kendrick plainly unable to compete [at link above.] Mysteriously enough, and without comment, the Volunteers did not make Kendrick available for comment after the game or on Monday and Tuesday. This, despite the fact that Kendrick has been made available to speak every week of the season until now.
Being awful at your job is one thing. But, it is unconscionable for a staff to put the safety of a player at jeopardy because a millionaire wants to stay employed. The actions alleged here are dangerously stupid and reckless at worst; wantonly negligent at best.
Couple the allegations with the now-settled systemic Title IX/rape issues in Knoxville and allegations of him physically assaulting at least one player in practice, and there’s practically no way Butch Jones survives. Not with a 4-5 record, not with a recruiting class hemorrhaging commits.
The Read Optional has played a strong hand, opening themselves to life-altering, career-ending liability if they’re wrong. For some reason, I don’t think they are.
The second domino is about to fall.