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Dr. Saturday

Tennessee’s Butch Jones tries to foster excitement and competition with ‘VOLympics’

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

Spring football can be tedious, especially after a rough season, so new Tennessee coach Butch Jones is trying to liven it up a bit with a contest he’s calling “VOLympics.”

The premise is simple: The 100-plus Tennessee players are split into 10 teams headed by two captains each. The teams can win or lose points depending on performance on the field, community service, performance in the classroom and team-building events throughout spring football.

"VOLympics is part of our peer-intervention program," Jones said in the video. "It encompasses three aspects that we feel are the most important: academics, football and social. They compete on a day-to-day basis, but it's part of the peer-intervention program. We're developing leaders. It's also part of our character education program.

"What we're looking for is to see who our leaders are. If they can't lead a team of 10 individuals, they can't lead a team of 105. We have a little bit of fun with it."

The VOLympics began with a draft where the captains, each dressed in their finest suit, took turns at the podium announcing their team selections. Prior to the draft, each of the captains was given a sheet with the vital statistics for each player and they needed to craft a draft strategy. Once picked, each draftee gets to pose with a Tennessee hat and jersey.

It’s actually kind of entertaining and maybe something that will not only endear the players to their new coaching staff, but perhaps get the Vols excited to do better than 5-7 in 2013.

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