UT responds to claims of Vol playing with concussion

WATE 6 On Your Side staff - KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) -- The University of Tennessee Volunteers reportedly allowed a player to be in the game against Kentucky, according to The Read Optional.

The site claims Brett Kendrick had a concussion which the Vols staff knew about. It goes on to say that the offensive lineman told a staff member "he was feeling woozy."

Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics John Currie issued a statement Wednesday saying, "The health and safety of our student-athletes is our number one responsibility. Our sports medicine staff and team medical personnel have full autonomy and unquestioned authority during all team activities, including the ability to remove a player from competition and ‘return to play' decisions. At all football games, the Southeastern Conference has a trained independent medical observer present who also has full authority to stop play and remove a student-athlete from competition for assessment and/or treatment."

He went on to say, "We have a constant and consistently communicated expectation that all coaches, staff and student-athletes remain attentive to ensure that any potential injuries are appropriately addressed—with full intentions that student-athlete safety is never compromised."

During a press conference on Wednesday, Head Coach Butch Jones said, "We would never knowingly put a student-athlete in harm's way. Our medical staff has full authority over removing players from competition and also has the authority of returning players to competition. I have absolutely no say in these decisions."

The Vols will play Southern Mississippi Saturday at Neyland at 7:30 p.m.

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