If any Tennessee football players find themselves in a questionable position with a firearm, they can’t say they weren’t forewarned.
UT head coach Josh Heupel frequently reminds his players about the dangers of having guns, according to center Cooper Mays.
“One thing I will will say about that guy, he’s detail oriented and consistent and disciplined with very, very clear communication on stuff like that,” Mays said. “You’re never going to wonder about what the expectation is. It’s very, very much conveyed. You’re going to do it right or you’re not going to do it at all.”
Heupel declined comment on the subject per a university spokesperson. However, his stance on the matter has been made clear, according to Mays.
“He doesn’t want any of us to really have much to do with guns at all,” Mays said. “He doesn’t think we need to have them on campus or in Knoxville at all. He tells us, ‘We’re in Knoxville, Tennessee. It’s a safe place. It’s a decent area. You don’t need to have guns.’
“That’s another one of his standards, that he doesn’t want us to be around guns. I think that is probably the best thing that you can do for these kids is if you don’t want people flashing one on live video and stuff (don’t have one). It’s just not a not a great look.”
No it’s not. Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant is reportedly facing a lengthy suspension following his second appearance on social media with a gun. Alabama’s basketball program was marred by a gun incident that left one person dead in February. The incident involved several players, including star forward Brandon Miller, who was in possession of the firearm before his teammate, Darius Miles, was allegedly involved in a shooting that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old woman.
That shouldn’t happen with Tennessee football if Heupel’s directives are carried out. The Vols can’t shoot a gun if they don’t have one and that message has clearly been delivered.
“No doubt,” Mays said.