Vols LB Sapp says he never refused to enter game vs Florida
By STEVE MEGARGEE
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee linebacker Quart'e Sapp says he never refused to enter the game Saturday during the Volunteers' 47-21 loss to Florida, contradicting what his coach had said after the game.
Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt said after the loss that Sapp declined a request to enter the game. Pruitt said he then asked Sapp to leave the sideline.
Sapp tweeted Sunday: "I never was asked nor did I ever refuse to go into the game." Sapp said "the current narrative has been created through miscommunication."
"Never would I disrespect my team, my coaches, my family or the fans by not giving my all for Tennessee," Sapp tweeted.
Sapp also referenced a sideline confrontation from Saturday's game in which "the other party involved had to be restrained." Sapp didn't specify the nature of the confrontation or who it involved. Sapp added that he expected that matter to be resolved internally.
Pruitt said Saturday that Sapp wouldn't go into the game when he was asked to do so.
"I don't know how things were done before, but when you tell somebody to go in, all right, and they refuse to go in, we're not going to do that around here," Pruitt said.
Pruitt declined to respond to a question about Sapp's status on the team Saturday by saying that "I don't think right now is the time to discuss that." Pruitt did note that Sapp had been a positive influence up to that point.
"Since I've been here, Quart'e has been a really good kind of ambassador to our program, (had) done everything that we've asked him to do," Pruitt said.
Sapp tweeted Sunday that "I will continue to be fully committed and giving `My All On For Tennessee' on and off the field."
Sapp started eight games last season and made 78 tackles to rank fourth on the team, but he hasn't made nearly as much impact this year while playing for a new coaching staff. The junior from Alpharetta, Georgia, has no solo tackles and three assists, all in the season opener . Sapp wasn't listed among the participants in the Florida game.
Tennessee (2-2, 0-1 SEC) visits No. 2 Georgia (4-0, 2-0) on Saturday.
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Updated September 23, 2018