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Former Tennessee QB Erik Ainge On Embattled Butch Jones: 'I Don't Think Fans Relate To Him'

Butch Jones is in a pretty tenuous situation at Tennessee, and a number of people around the program seem out on him as Vols head coach.

Erik Ainge played quarterback at Tennessee from 2004-07, making the jump to Knoxville from Oregon.

Ainge joined The Opening Drive on WJOX in Birmingham, Alabama to speak about his alma mater, and while he didn't trash Jones, he did acknowledge that it doesn't seem like he is a cultural fit with Vols fans.

SEC Country transcribed the key parts of the interview:

“I bought in,” Ainge said on the radio appearance. “I learned how to be an East Tennessean, and it has been the best choice I have ever made. I don’t think Butch ever did that. I don’t think the fans identify with him, whether it be another multimillionaire or the fan who scalped one ticket in [Section] XX for one game.

“Just the way he does press conferences, he’s always talking to the recruits through his press conferences. And I know he does that. And I’ve tried to tell him, and a lot of people have tried to tell him, you can’t do that. You get to go to the recruit’s house and sit on his couch. You don’t get to do that with all the fans that are watching.”

Audio from the interview:

Jones's Volunteers are 3-3 on the year, but 0-3 in SEC play and heading into a game at Alabama. Based on the Crimson Tide's games against other lesser-SEC opponents this season, this one could get ugly for the Vols.

[SEC Country]