The transcript of Butch Jones’ press conference at SEC Meetings Tuesday in Destin, Fla.
Opening Statement: Good to see everyone. Kind of an exciting time in our football program. Sunday we welcomed most of our signees and their parents to campus. We really set a three-day orientation with them. Kind of a life skills, development into college and being a student athlete from the academic side of things and just life labs with everything and making sure they understand the standards and the expectations and I told them, its’ been a very, very short period of time where we came in and built the program and now they’re walking into an established football program. Making sure they understand what is required of them in the classroom and the community and the Anderson Training Center. I think the most gratifying thing for me was the amount of upperclassmen and veterans that showed up to welcome our freshman class to help them move into the dorms but also come into the meeting to talk to the parents and the players. As we all know when you have children go away to college, a new life begins, and the anxiety. I went through it last year. So just to have our players, I think that speaks volumes for the culture that we have, the character of young individuals we have in our football program. We will actually get started with school on Wednesday and we’ll start our summer strength and conditioning program on Thursday. Make no mistake about it, we have to have a great, great summer and be a much more explosive, a much stronger football team in moving forward.
Question: Do you think there should be background checks for recruits?
JONES: Everything is about giving a young man an opportunity. Every circumstance, every situation is different. We’re all parents. But we try to do our background checks. We try to be as thorough as possible from social media to Google. But there are some things that hamper you in terms of background with being minors and the age laws that go into that. There’s a lot of things that we’re not able to do. We try to do our due diligence with every individual that we welcome into our football program. I think it’s a challenge in and of itself. But make no mistake about it. The first thing in our recruiting profile is character. We try to research that to the best of our ability, and then make a decision. Do they fit your program? Do you have the players in your program that can help them along the way as well. I think there’s a lot of extenuating circumstances that go into that. Continue reading