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Vols' Jones says slogan use 'over-talked about'

From ESPN - August 13, 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Volunteers coach Butch Jones has heard the criticism of his use of slogans and catchphrases, from calling last year's seniors "champions of life" to describing his pursuit of recruits possessing "five-star hearts."

But he does not plan to change his approach and wonders why his program gets singled out in this regard.

"Every coach has those," Jones said Sunday at Tennessee's media day. "For some reason at Tennessee, I think it's all kind of blown out of proportion because that's the one topic to talk about. ... Every football program has those. It's a way to get the attention of your program. We have not been any different. I think it's been grossly over-talked about."

Indeed, the San Francisco 49ers have put out videos this summer titled "Brick by Brick," the same slogan Jones used before his first season at Tennessee in 2013. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer recently talked about how great organizations "own it," the same words Tennessee used as its team motto last year.

But the timing of some of Jones' comments has led to scrutiny.

Two days after Tennessee was eliminated from contention for the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division championship last year, Jones praised his seniors and said, "They have won the biggest championship -- and that's the championship of life." Jones' comment immediately turned into an internet meme -- then got even more scrutiny after Tennessee was stunned by Vanderbilt later that week.

Jones talked about wanting prospects with "five-star hearts" immediately after he signed a 2017 class that was not ranked as high as his previous three recruiting classes.

Jones is not shying away from slogans this year. Tennessee's team motto for 2017 is DAT, which stands for Details, Accountability, Toughness.

"If you do your research around the country, every football program has to have something they are going to hang their hat on, whether it's in times where you need perseverance, whether it's times you need to focus your football team," Jones said. "It really just exemplifies what that current football team needs. Nothing has really changed with what we are doing."

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