Butch Jones putting Pig Howard decision in hands of ‘player staff’

Alton “Pig” Howard (photo by Michael Patrick)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee coach Butch Jones seems to have put the future of receiver Alton “Pig” Howard squarely in the hands of his player committee.

During a caravan event Monday night in Atlanta, Jones suggest that the 13-man “player staff” would meet with Howard before making a final decision.

I’m told Howard has appeared before the player staff at least once before and was given some forceful feedback about his commitment to football. The group even referenced a few messages on his Twitter account that they didn’t feel reflected positively on him or the team.

Even so, Jones said Monday night that he “just” got off the phone with Howard, and he seemed far more open to his return than he did this spring.

“He will go before the 13-person player staff and they will meet with him and make a decision,” Jones said. “It’s an honor and privilege to play at UT.”

Howard started 10 games in 2013, catching a team-high 44 passes for 388 yards.