Tennessee running back John Kelly suspended



Kernel Sports Staff

University of Tennessee junior running back John Kelly was suspended over an incident Tuesday, in which police said he and freshman Will Ignont were found driving a car with a bag of marijuana in the center console.

Originally reported by WATE, Knoxville police stopped the two because Kelly’s headlight was out on his car. The players then consented to a search of their car when police smelled something strong, and a bag of marijuana was found.

Both players were cited for the incident, and neither claimed ownership of the drugs.

“Members of our football team have a responsibility to represent the University of Tennessee in a first-class manner,” head coach Butch Jones said in an official statement. “I met with John and Will and they understand their actions were unacceptable.”

Kelly has been the primary engine that drives the Tennessee offense up to this point in the season, ranking fourth in the SEC in rushing yards per game (87.9) as well as adding six touchdowns on the ground. He also leads the team in receptions with 26.

The Volunteers are set to play UK this weekend, and without Kelly, there isn’t a clear offensive weapon that Tennessee possesses.

“I’ll be honest with you, whoever they line up there, they got a bunch of good backs and it’s really about what we do,” UK defensive coordinator Matt House said Wednesday after practice. “Our execution, period, on defense to me is more important than who they line up.”

Tennessee will play the Cats at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.