Tennessee running back John Kelly and linebacker Will Ignont won’t play Saturday against Kentucky, coach Butch Jones announced (per WATE-TV), following a traffic stop Tuesday by Knoxville police that led to the two Vols players receiving drug citations.
“Members of our football team have a responsibility to represent the University of Tennessee in a first-class manner,” Jones said in a statement. “I met with John and Will and they understand their actions were unacceptable.”
Kelly, a junior, is the team’s leading rusher with 615 yards on 125 carries and six touchdowns. Ignont, a freshman, has four total tackles, one for loss.
Tennessee is 3-4 but 0-4 in SEC play, leading to speculation about Jones’ job security.
Police stopped Kelly on Tuesday for a headlight that was out and reported that during the stop they noticed “a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.”
“Upon searching the vehicle, police officers found a clear plastic baggie containing a green, leafy substance believed to be marijuana in the center console along with a glass pipe usually used to smoke marijuana,” the Knoxville Police Department said in a statement.
Kelly was cited for possession of a Schedule 6 drug (a misdemeanor), not having a working headlight and not having proof of insurance. Ignont was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.