FRANKLIN – Would you ask Adam "Pacman" Jones to speak to your football team?
He is an interesting choice to be certain, but one whom Tennessee Vols coach Butch Jones has called on before and has committed to again this summer.
"That's a part of our personal growth and development program," said Butch Jones, addressing the local media during the Big Orange Caravan stop on Tuesday night at The Factory in Franklin.
"It's all about character education and really developing individuals to be men. And really it's all facets of life. I've known Adam Jones for a very long time. … I know every year he speaks at the NFL rookie symposium and has done a tremendous job. I'm very proud of how far Pacman has come."
Adam Jones' continuous run-ins with the law made for daily fodder among Titans' fans from 2005-07. Now entering his fifth year with the Cincinnati Bengals, he was most recently arrested twice in 2013, although a judge ruled in October that he was not guilty of an assault charge accusing him of hitting a woman in the head at a nightclub.
Adam Jones spoke to the Cincinnati Bearcats when Butch Jones coached them before taking the UT job. That relationship stems from their West Virginia connection — Butch Jones became an assistant there in 2005 — the year that the Titans drafted Pacman.
"There's many examples of what not to do and the lessons that come from it, but also the things of what to do," Butch Jones said. "You look at how he's developed. You look at how he's turned his life around. He's a great illustration of being able to persevere, be able to fight through adversity and overcome some obstacles and his life. I think he defines that.
"His message is real. That's part of it. Some players can relate to it."
Numbers game: New Vols men's basketball coach Donnie Tyndall said Tuesday that he plans to fill every open scholarship this season, with the possibility that one could remain open.
Tyndall must get busy to make those numbers work for a roster that has seen six players (four incoming freshmen and two rising sophomores) request and be granted their release. Two more players, Robert Hubbs and Quinton Chievous, might leave also. Chievous had planned to transfer before Cuonzo Martin left.
Tyndall has filled two spots with new signees. But even if Hubbs and Chievous remain, he has five additional empty scholarships.
"We are hopeful we will fill all 13," Tyndall said. "Now one or two of those 13 could possibly be transfers who have to sit out a year and help us down the road. With that being said, we're not going to take a guy that we don't feel can certainly play in the SEC. We'll hold a scholarship or two open.
"We're involved with a ton of good players right now, as late as it is. I think people will be surprised. And I'll be very surprised if we don't fill up all the scholarships — maybe the possibility of leaving one open."
If the Vols struggle to fill their scholarships, they could be left in a predicament likeVanderbilt faced this past season. The Commodores began the season with nine available scholarships players and were left with seven after an injury to Josh Henderson and the dismissal of Eric McClellan.
Much respect: Tyndall had nothing but kind words and high praise for Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings. He told a story of Stallings spending time with his daughter, Taylor, after his Morehead State team lost to the Commodores in November 2008 at Memorial Gym.
"Tay was probably 5 or 6 years old at the time," Tyndall said. "They put it on us pretty good, and it was really cool after the game — Coach Stallings spent two or three minutes with Taylor and just talked to her. He's a class act. I've always thought the world of him. He's one of the best coaches in college basketball."
Tyndall and Stallings enjoyed a nice talk sitting in the stands of the Pepsi Center before the 2011 NCAA Tournament opening-round games in Denver, where Vanderbilt and Morehead State were playing.