Paul Finebaum watched Butch Jones lose 41-0 at home to Georgia on Saturday, and he was ready to pounce when his opportunity came on Sunday morning.
The Tennessee alum turned SEC personality did not mince words when it came to the future of the Vols coach, who has started his fifth season in Knoxville with a 3-2 record that includes conference losses to SEC East front-runners Florida and Georgia.
But the historic loss to the Bulldogs appeared to be a tipping point of sorts for Finebaum, who appeared to be a little miffed at the tact Jones took in calling out the media during a mid-week press conference in the days leading up to the game.
“I don’t know how he survives long-term,” Finebaum said on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Sunday morning. “Now, long-term could mean this week, next week or at the end of the season. 41-0 is as historic a loss as I can remember. You can’t attack the media– falsely, by the way– and then act like it didn’t happen. Well, the person who probably shouldn’t have a starting position is the head coach because he is doing a lousy job. He said this team was as cohesive as a team he’s ever had, and I don’t think there was any evidence of that. I think he’s lost his team and I don’t know how you can get it back.”
Following up on that initial rant, Finebaum returned to the topic during a later segment of the broadcast.
“This a coach who attacked the media for fake news, and then when I asked him yesterday in Knoxville he said ‘We’re focused on the football game.’ And then he said his locker room is cohesive. I think he’s lost his locker room and now I think he’s lost his fan base.”
Tennessee AD John Currie has remained steadfast in his support of Butch Jones, who will have a bye week to figure some things out with his team before resuming play in Week 7.
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