A federal lawsuit filed against the University of Tennessee (which just added two more plaintiffs to the case) claimed former wide receiver Drae Bowles was attacked days after assisting an alleged victim. That attack came from the players, but Bowles claims Vols head coach Butch Jones called him a traitor.
The Tennessean reports Bowles made this claim about Jones in a sworn affidavit. Bowles was punched in the mouth by Curt Maggitt inside the Tennessee locker room in what is said to be retribution for helping the woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a pair of Tennessee football players, A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams. Both Jones and Maggitt expressed frustration with Bowles for assisting the woman. Bowles claims to have found the woman crying in a parking lot after the alleged assault. Bowles claimed Maggitt approached him with “accusing questions” later.
“Bowles told Maggit what had happened. Maggit became violently upset, said that Bowles was trying to f**** up A.J. and suddenly punched Bowles in the mouth with great force, causing Bowles’ lip to bleed,” the filing said.
Bowles fought back before teammates broke up the fight, the filing said.
The next day, Bowles was confronted a second time. Bowles went to Smokey’s Sports Grill, the campus dining hall for athletes, and purposefully sat alone. Teammates Geraldo Orta and Marlin Lane confronted him, according to the new documents.
Maggitt reportedly admitted to assaulting Bowles to authorities and was never charged for the assault. Jones gave Bowles time away from the team and instructed Vols players to leave him alone. No player received discipline from Jones for their actions.
“Drae Bowles had acted with the utmost kindness and strength of character toward Jane Doe IV, her friends and Jane Doe V,” the plaintiffs claim in their updated lawsuit. “For his kindness and courage he was beaten up, called a traitor by his head football coach and ostracized from the team by Coach Jones and other players.
“Maggitt continued to be touted as a team leader and with Orta and Lane celebrated a bowl victory by posing for cameras flashing (alleged) rapist A.J. Johnson’s number 45 with their hands and fingers,” the lawsuit says.
Jones reportedly called Bowles back with an apology for his traitor statement.
Yesterday Jones — who has claimed Tennessee has a good football culture — and head coaches from across Tennessee’s athletic department took the stage for a press conference and show of unity on Tennessee’s campus. The message was how there is no culture problem at Tennessee. As more and more details from this federal lawsuit become public, the pristine image of the football program will be tough to polish.
UPDATE (10:22 p.m. ET) – Jones has released a statement denying the accusation he called Bowles a traitor.