Vols Kelly, Ignont Cited When Drugs Found In Car, Suspended For Kentucky Game

Team's Already Struggling Offense Takes Severe Hit Without RB

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - by Larry Fleming
Tennessee running back John Kelly (4), a junior from Detroit, Mich., taking a handoff from quarterback Quinten Dormady against Georgia Tech, and teammate Will Ignont, a freshman from Nashville, were cited Tuesday night for drugs when drugs were found in their car at a traffic stop near campus.
Tennessee running back John Kelly (4), a junior from Detroit, Mich., taking a handoff from quarterback Quinten Dormady against Georgia Tech, and teammate Will Ignont, a freshman from Nashville, were cited Tuesday night for drugs when drugs were found in their car at a traffic stop near campus.
- photo by Dennis Norwood/File Photo

Tennessee’s junior running back John Kelly, one of the SEC’s leading rushers, and freshman linebacker Will Ignont have been cited after drugs were found during a traffic stop in Knoxville.

In a statement released by the university, beleaguered coach Butch Jones said both players have been suspended and will miss Saturday’s game at Kentucky.

Jones issued a one paragraph statement:

“John Kelly and Will Ignont will be suspended for the Kentucky game as a result of the incident on Tuesday night.

Members of our football team have a responsibility to represent the University of Tennessee in a first-class manner. I met with John and Will and they understand their actions were unacceptable.”

According to Knoxville police, officers say Kelly, who is from Detroit, was driving a car on Cumberland Avenue on Tuesday around 10:46 p.m. Ignont, who is from Huntsville, Alabama, was a passenger in the car.

The two players were pulled over in a traffic stop near 11th street due to a headlight being out.

The officer making the stop said a strong smell came out of the vehicle when the window was rolled down. Kelly and Ignont were asked to get out of the car and both consented to having the car searched.

A clear plastic bag with what looked like marijuana was found in the center console. Police said there were 4.6 grams in the bag, and officers also found a glass pipe.

Neither player claimed ownership of the bag and pipe.

The players were cited and allowed to leave the scene, but must turn themselves in for booking at the Knox County Sheriff's Office by Nov. 7 at 7:30 a.m.

Kelly was cited for possession of a schedule 6 drug, which is a misdemeanor, not having a headlight and no proof of insurance.

Ignont, who has played in four games and has four tackles with one for minus-3 yards, was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, also a misdemeanor.

News of the incident quickly hit Twitter.

Without Kelly in the backfied, Tennessee’s sputtering offense suffers a severe blow. It’s an offense that hasn’t scored a touchdown in 14 straight quarters. The unit’s last TD came in the second quarter against UMass on Sept. 23.

In their last three games since UMass and against SEC foes Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, the Vols have been outscored 101-16 and outgained in total offense 1,305 to 503, or an average of 435 to 167.6.

Tennessee managed just 64 yards rushing and seven first downs in a 45-7 loss to top-ranked Alabama last weekend, sending the Vols to their fourth straight loss in conference play.

The Vols also started the 2014 season 0-4. If Tennessee were to lose at Kentucky (game time is 7:30 p.m. the SEC Network will televise the action), it would be their first 0-5 start since 2012, Derek Dooley’s final season before being fired.

That year Tennessee lost its first seven league games before beating Kentucky 37-17 in its conference finale. The Vols have lost to the Wildcats only once in 32 years, that coming in 2011 at Lexington.

In seven games, Kelly ranks fifth in the SEC with 615 yards on 125 carries, an average of 87.86 yards per game. He has six rushing touchdowns.

Freshman Ty Chandler, of Nashville, is the team’s second-leading rusher with 118 yards on 27 attempts with no touchdowns.

The Vols rank dead last in a 14-team conference in total offense, averages 289.71 yards of offense per game. By comparison, Alabama, rated No. 1 in the league, gets 499.75 yards per game.

When it comes to rushing, Tennessee averages 124.57 yards and that ranks 11th in the SEC, ahead of only Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

(Contact Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)


‘Sonny’ Sumner, Former Successful Baylor Tennis Coach Of ‘60s and ‘70s, Dies

Ira Leonard Sumner, who was an assistant and later head coach of Baylor School’s tennis team when it was a perennial state and even national tennis power more than four decades ago, died Tuesday.  His daughter, Elizabeth “Randi” Sumner Wafler, sent an email to Baylor friends saying he had died after a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Coach Sumner, who was ... (click for more)

UTC Track Team At Emory Classic

 The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s outdoor track and field team will head to Atlanta this weekend for the Emory Classic to run Friday and Saturday. The focus for the Mocs will be participation in specialized events. “We have begun our outdoor prep and are moving kids into the events we are asking them to specialize and participate in at the SoCon meet ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Says $4 Million Needed To Put SROs In All Hamilton County Schools

Sheriff Jim Hammond on Thursday night told members of the County School Board that $4 million is needed to provide School Resource Officers for all of the 79 schools. He said currently there are 31 SROs in 29 schools, leaving 50 uncovered. School Board member Rhonda Thurman said she believes the community could come together to provide the necessary funding. "It's something ... (click for more)

Judge Philyaw Denies He Did Not Reappoint Magistrate Because She Was Gay

Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw told a federal jury on Thursday that the fact Elizabeth Gentzler is openly gay had no part in his decision not to reappoint her as a magistrate. "Absolutely not. I have a lot of gay friends, family and acquaintances," he said. However, a court officer at Juvenile Court sided with Ms. Gentzler. Jimmie Cannon said, "Ninety-nine percent ... (click for more)

Avoid Underage Drinking And Other Prom Drama

My high school prom took a dramatic turn when two guys got their tuxedo jackets mixed up. One of them belonged to my date, who kindly offered to keep my wallet in his pocket. That’s the jacket another young man mistakenly grabbed off the back of a chair before heading to an underage drinking party that got shut down by police well after midnight—as kids scattered in every direction.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘In God We Trust …And Protecting Our School Children

On a day that the Tennessee Legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill that would prominently display the words “In God We Trust” in every school building in the state, the Hamilton County School Board gave my boy Bad Little Johnny cause to get a magic market and scribble underneath, “but ‘Everybody Else Is Gonna’ Need A Pistol!’” Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond, who was ... (click for more)