Butch Jones is interested in the Maryland opening, according to Terrapin Sports Report, who spoke with a source close to Jones. It's such a bad idea that Maryland might actually do it.
Maryland fired head coach D.J. Durkin on Wednesday, the latest move in the aftermath of offensive lineman Jordan McNair's death in June that prompted two separate investigations into the handling of a late May workout that resulted in McNair's death and allegations of player mistreatment by Durkin and his staff.
With Durkin out, the search is on for the Terrapins' next head coach. Charlie Strong, Mike Norvell and Mike Locksley are among the dozens of names bouncing around the internet, along with, now, Butch Jones.
Jones was once a rising star in college football after leading Central Michigan to 27 wins over three seasons (2007-09) and keeping Cincinnati in Big East contention (2010-12) following Brian Kelly's departure. He labored through two seasons at Tennessee — 12-13 in 2013 and 2014 — and despite delivering the program's first back-to-back nine-win seasons in 2015-16 for the first time in nearly a decade, Jones was fired 10 games into last season.
His 61-game ride in Knoxville was marred with off-the-field issues, among them player mistreatment allegations.
In February 2016, receiver Drae Bowles alleged that Jones said Bowles was a "traitor" and "betrayed the team" when helping a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a Tennessee football player. Jones denied the accusations.
Last November, days after Jones was fired, former Vols' running back Martin Lane said Jones smeared him to NFL teams, was verbally abusive and tried to get rid of players.
"During my NFL career, trying to go to an NFL career, I got back on a couple of agents that some teams wouldn’t accept me because I had bad character,” Lane said on the 4th and Truth podcast. “I had bad character. I had also not met up to the criteria that [Jones] was looking for. I wasn’t talented enough. I was a bad influence on teammates, and a whole lot of things.”
"He used me to somewhat run, try to run a couple of players off the team that he didn't want on there,” Lane added. “You know, like threaten kids' life. It's either his way or he'll, you know, take their future away from them or put them on a one-year scholarship probation."
Jones was fired for not winning games, not for these allegations. Nick Saban hired him as an offensive analyst at Alabama despite the allegations, which may or may not be true. Another team will hire Jones after his image rehab stint in Tuscaloosa, and he might even get another head-coaching opportunity down the line.
That opportunity can't be Maryland.
The Terps need a highly respected leader who hasn't faced verbal abuse allegations, who hasn't been accused of calling a player a "traitor" for aiding a woman.
They can't consider Butch Jones. They can't call him, and they can't interview him. They can't Butch Jones.
So, yeah, Maryland will probably hire Butch Jones because they don't have a clue what they're doing.