Former Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton said he’s only been back to Tennessee twice since his playing career concluded because of the way he was treated by Volunteer fans.
Crompton’s final season with the Volunteers was in 2009. He saw playing time in parts of all four seasons he spent at the school and was the team’s starter as a senior. He was 224-384 passing for 2,800 yards and threw for 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in that season.
But apparently that wasn’t good enough for many fans. Tennessee was 7-6 that season with Lane Kiffin as coach. And Crompton told the Chattanooga Times-Free Press that he developed a “genuine dislike” because of the conduct of some Tennessee fans.
“I’ve only been back to Tennessee twice for games since I left,” Crompton said. “‘Animosity’ is probably the best word for how I felt for a long time. I know it wasn’t the majority of the fans, but there were enough examples that it really left a bad taste in my mouth. And I don’t want to have that bad taste toward my alma mater anymore. I really don’t.
“I could take it if they would just say things to me, but because they would yell things at my family, I developed a genuine dislike for that place. I’m not sure how to fix that, but there are so many people still there that I love and respect and would love to see.
“I still believe Tennessee has the number-one fan base in the country. It’s just hard to forget some of the things that happened to me and my family while I was there.”
The article where Crompton was quoted didn’t detail any of the things Tennessee fans allegedly did to his family. But despite the lack of specifics, Crompton’s comments are a damn good reminder that people take college football way too seriously. It’s OK to be happy after wins and unhappy and disappointed after losses. But taking the actions of young adults personally as a fan is a bit too far.
It may “just mean more” in the SEC, but that’s no excuse to act like an idiot.
Crompton, 29, was a fifth-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in the 2010 NFL draft but never threw a pass in the NFL regular season.
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