Jones: Vols must earn right to speak to reporters

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee coach Butch Jones isn't allowing his players to speak to the media until they improve their practice performance.

Jones canceled a scheduled post-practice media session with nine players Monday and said he'd be the only team representative speaking with reporters. Jones said players would speak again when they "earn the right to talk to the media."

Jones said the Volunteers' performance deteriorated in the latter portions of Monday's practice. Those portions weren't open to reporters.

Tennessee is relying heavily on a 32-man recruiting class and must replace all of last year's starters on the offensive and defensive lines as the Vols attempt to end a string of four straight losing seasons. Jones said Monday that "we have to stop using youth as a crutch, as an excuse."


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