Drae Bowles

AP Photo/Garry Jones, File

Report: Butch Jones accused of calling Vols player who helped alleged rape victim a traitor


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.

Two UT players leaving the Vols


The winter of personnel attrition continues, with Tennessee the latest to see the depth on its roster pared.

UT head coach Butch Jones confirmed to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Thursday that wide receiver Vic Wharton has decided to transfer out of the Vols football program. No reason was given for the decision to move on.

“Right now I know he’s going to transfer,” Jones told the Times Free Press. “Vic is going through that process of deciding what is the best fit for him in moving forward.”

Wharton was a four-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class who started the last two games as a true freshman last season. The Nashville native ended the year with five receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown.

According to the paper, Wharton is the third receiver to transfer from the Vols this offseason, joining sophomore Ryan Jenkins and junior Drae Bowles.

In addition to Wharton, Jones confirmed to Wes Rucker of 247Sports.com that junior linebacker Justin King has decided to leave the program as well. King will be graduate transfer and would thus be eligible to play immediately in 2015 if he were to move on to an FBS school.

King, a three-star member of UT’s 2012 recruiting class who played in 13 games in 2014, will have two years of eligibility remaining regardless of where he transfers.

Former four star WR leaves Vols for FCS Chattanooga


Tennessee has a very bright future ahead of it heading into the offseason after wrapping up the year with an inspiring win over Iowa, but one wide receiver will be out of the mix when spring practices open up later this year. Drae Bowles, a redshirt sophomore has transferred out of the program after enrolling at UT-Chattanooga today. Stephen Higgins of the Times Free Press reported the news via Twitter.

Because he is moving to a school playing at the FCS level, Bowles will be eligible to play right away in 2015 for Chattanooga.

Tennessee looks to be pretty deep at wide receiver in 2015. All five leading receivers from 2014, including Pig Howard, Von Pearson and Marquez North are all slated to return to Knoxville in 2015, so playing time for Bowles may have been scarce at best. He appeared in two games this season but did not record any receiving stats. He also played on special teams for the Vols.