A Knoxville tradition unlike any other

Okay, this sounds familiar.

University of Tennessee football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams didn’t learn from police they were under investigation for rape the way most suspects do.

Instead, the players first heard the news from their Tennessee football coaches — in Johnson’s case, four hours before police showed up at the scene of the alleged crime to question him, according to sources and cell phone records obtained by The Tennessean.

Contrary to police best practices, potentially threatening the integrity of the investigation and in possible violation of state law, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch and a detective made “professional courtesy” calls to Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones about the investigation — a practice Rausch says is common when police investigate alleged crimes involving an athlete at Tennessee.

I mean, just ask Chief Rausch.

Rausch has said that alerting the coach and staff when police are investigating an alleged crime against a UT athlete is a long-standing practice and a “professional courtesy.”

We can all appreciate a professional police department, but here’s where things potentially get weird, at least for Knoxville, Tennessee.

The calls may also have violated state law, according to a statement issued by the Knox County district attorney in response to an inquiry by The Tennessean.

“We cannot discuss the investigation of this case while the litigation is pending,” said Assistant District Attorney Sean McDermott.

“In any case, however, (Knox County District Attorney) General (Charme) Allen opposes pre-arrest notification to any person or agency that is not made in furtherance of the investigation,” the statement said. “A pre-arrest disclosure of sensitive information that is not made for the purpose of advancing the criminal investigation potentially could violate state law regarding the misuse of official information.”

Phil Fulmer ain’t buying that potential crap, fellas.  The police have their job to do in K-town.  They know it.  Booch knows it, too, even if he’s full of it on no discussion with his players.  You can’t spell courtesy without UT.



Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Crime and Punishment

22 responses to “A Knoxville tradition unlike any other

  1. W Cobb Dawg

    So it wasn’t enough for an officer to be hospitalized by ut player back in ’10. Now the chief’s job might be in jeopardy for notifying booch.


  2. Tommy

    Meanwhile, two UGA football players are rung up on felony charges for discharging BB guns. Hard to believe these two programs are in the same country, much less conference.


  3. DawgPhan

    All the college sexual assault stuff makes my skin crawl.

    Those 2 guys are accused of rape. Not being drunk downtown…they raped someone.



    • Cousin Eddie

      allegedly raped someone, just because they are ut athlete-students doesn’t mean they are guilty as judged by the proper authorities in tennessee quite the opposite.


      • Dog in Fla

        “allegedly raped someone”

        To quote the inimitable Hogbody, below, the alleged raping of someone in Knoxville is “called a ‘courtesy call'”.


      • DawgPhan

        Someone is always at the ready to cape up and defend a couple of guys accused of rape.

        nice work.


    • Argondawg

      Dude they called Butch at 8:30 AM and didn’t show up with a search warrant at the linebackers apartment where the alleged rape took place until 6 pm. A lot of evidence can be disposed of in 10 hours. Wow. Extremely disturbing.


  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    I Knoxville it’s called a ‘courtesy call.’ In Tuscaloosa it’s called ‘reporting to your superiors.’


  5. Russ

    So, has anyone asked Herbie about this?

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but this stuff just blows my mind. I guess the same thing goes on in Tallahassee as well.


  6. dawgfan

    It is unbelievable that someone that is sworn to “protect and serve” would compromise perhaps the most critical part of a criminal investigation by in effect notifying the accused. This destroyed the opportunity to conduct a meaningful interview with the accused and may have allowed physical evidence to be destroyed. The Knoxville police chief should be fired or severely punished and maybe prosecuted. This was a major felony crime against a person. It’s unreal the amount of arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence.


  7. Uglydawg

    Terrrible, sad story. Screwed up priorities and values in Knoxville.


  8. Normaltown Mike

    Can’t help but notice the irony of a “professional courtesy” to amateurs.


  9. 69Dawg

    Hey it’s the UT way. As Dog-in-Fla used to say “it’s time to take to the bunker”. Nothing in the SEC surprises me any more especially how chicken shit Georgia’s Campus Cops are not just with athletes but with all the students. My best guess is Jimmy Williams has pictures of the President and all the Regents partying with the patients at the Vet school.


  10. Bulldog Joe

    Pump them up with hormones, provide them cover via intimidation tactics within the team and the legal system then act surprised and indignant when rapes are reported.

    We’ve heard this story many times before in Knoxville, Tallahassee, Waco, Nashville, and elsewhere.

    Sad to say, it is a tradition like too many others.


  11. south fl dawg

    As if it wasn’t hard enough for the victim to have to fight the rapist….I shudder at the thought of being in that situation.


    • AusDawg85

      My thoughts too. How does the police chief explain to the victim, “We needed to notify the head coach, because….ummmmm….of professional courtesy. Hey, we eventually did get around to investigating your complaint, so what’s the problem?”


  12. TN Dawg

    I don’t understand how this is even news.

    I mean we waited way longer than 90 days for this, it’s not even relevant at this point.