KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee has dismissed wide receiver Jauan Jennings from the team after he ripped the Volunteers’ coaching staff in a profanity-laced video posted on Instagram.
Vols interim head coach Brady Hoke said in a statement he made the decision “in consultation with” athletic director John Currie. Hoke added that “representing the University of Tennessee football program is a privilege.”
“It was a little bit of a surprise I think to everybody, me included,” Hoke said Wednesday night on his “Vol Calls” radio show. “But after talking to John Currie and consulting with him, I know what the right thing to do is for our football team. That’s why we made that decision.”
In his video, Jennings used the words “lying,” ″fake” and “snake” to describe the coaches. He said the “coaching staff (is) holding us back” and asked that Tennessee officials “bring us a coaching staff that’s honest.”
Tennessee (4-7, 0-7 SEC) fired coach Butch Jones on Nov. 12. Hoke, who had served as a defensive line coach on Jones’ staff, is Tennessee’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Jennings, a junior from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, entered the year as Tennessee’s top returning receiver. But he hadn’t played since injuring his wrist in a season-opening 42-41 double-overtime victory over Georgia Tech. Jones said in mid-September that the injury would sideline Jennings for the remainder of the season.
In the video, Jennings said he wanted to return for Tennessee’s game Saturday with Vanderbilt (4-7, 0-7).
Jennings caught 40 passes for 580 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Jennings was involved in two of the most memorable plays of Tennessee’s 2016 season, as he scored a 67-yard touchdown that put the Vols ahead for good in a 38-28 victory over Florida and caught a 43-yard Hail Mary pass as time expired in a 34-31 triumph at Georgia.
The Jennings dismissal is the latest chapter in Tennessee’s nightmare season.
Tennessee opened the year in the Top 25 but is now at risk of its first eight-loss season in school history. Tennessee must beat Vanderbilt to avoid going winless in SEC competition for the first time since the league’s formation in 1933.