Butch Jones might be facing bigger issues than his job security.
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A stunning report from The Read Optional says the Tennessee coaching staff allowed Brett Kendrick to continue playing last Saturday vs. Kentucky despite suffering a concussion. Kendrick, the Vols' starting right tackle, played at least two full quarters after telling a coach that he wasn't feeling good.
"Sources within the program confirm that Kendrick suffered a concussion and is currently in the concussion protocol," wrote Oliver Connolly and Trey Wallace. "Sources also confirm that Kendrick told a member of the Vols staff that he was feeling woozy. It is unclear when and what Jones knew himself."
During those two quarters, Kendrick routinely appeared confused and injured on the field, missing blocks and finally vomiting.
When reached for comment by HERO Sports, the University of Tennessee athletics department sent the following statement from athletics director John Currie, which does not specifically address Kendrick or the coaching staff's response to a claim that he told them of his condition.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is our number one responsibility. Our sports medicine staff and team medical personnel have full autonomy and unquestioned authority during all team activities, including the ability to remove a player from competition and ‘return to play’ decisions. At all football games, the Southeastern Conference has a trained independent medical observer present who also has full authority to stop play and remove a student-athlete from competition for assessment and/or treatment.
“We have a constant and consistently communicated expectation that all coaches, staff and student-athletes remain attentive to ensure that any potential injuries are appropriately addressed — with full intentions that student-athlete safety is never compromised.”
It is not clear is the trained independent medical observer was notified of Kendrick's concussion.