After rumors and reports began circulating that Tennessee offensive lineman Brett Kendrick played nearly a half of football after sustaining a concussion, Tennessee AD John Currie was forced to release a statement.
The timing of this news just happened to match up with Tennessee head coach Butch Jones’ weekly Wednesday press conference. Jones was immediately hit with questions about the situation.
“John Currie issued a statement earlier today. I’ll tell you this. We would never knowingly put a student athlete in harm’s way,” Jones said. “Our medical staff has full authority on removing players from competition, but also have the authority to return players to competition.”
“I had absolutely no say in these decisions,” Jones maintained.
“The SEC has been very proactive in terms of having an independent medical observer in the press box for these issues. Also, the officiating crew has full authority to be able to remove an individual from competition if they see that,” Jones said.
Butch was asked about how the process worked with the medical observer. “The medical observer will buzz the official on the field. They will then remove the player from the field. Again, the coach has no direct communication.”
Jones was then asked about how the team is educated on the matter. “Our training staff is always in dialogue with our players. They’re around them throughout the entire course of the day. They give a presentation during training camp. It’s constantly discussed,” Jones said.