Butch Jones officially cleared to join Alabama coaching staff as 'an intern'

Former Tennessee coach Butch Jones talks with Patriots coach Bill Belichick during Alabama’s Pro Day in March. Jones has officially been cleared to join Alabama’s coaching staff. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones officially has a new job, though it doesn’t come with the title some may have expected.

Saban announced on Tuesday that Jones was cleared by the NCAA to join his staff as an offensive analyst, making his hiring official after weeks of speculation.

“He’s a intern, an analyst. I guess we can have several names for it,” Saban said. “He can’t coach on the field, he can work with us off the field. And today was actually the first time that he was cleared by the NCAA.

“We have these things, these rules, and I don’t even know what they’re called — like we can’t hire high school coaches, we can’t hire people that have recruited other players that we’re recruiting and all that. So you have to go through a process with the NCAA. So that finally got completed today so now he’s officially going to be part of the staff here.”

Jones was fired from Tennessee in November — with two games left on their schedule — after leading the Vols to an 0-6 start in conference play. He went 34-27 in his career at Tennessee.

Rumors of Jones joining Saban’s staff started flying at the beginning of March, when Jones was spotted at Alabama’s Pro Day wearing a Crimson Tide pullover and reportedly met with Saban about the position.

Saban hiring Jones to his staff is another example of him scooping up a fired coach to become an offensive analyst. He previously hired Lane Kiffin, Mike Locksley and Steve Sarkisian for the same position, all of whom became a temporary offensive coordinator under Saban before accepting more permanent jobs of their own. Kiffin is the current head coach at Florida Atlantic, Sarkisian is the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons and Locksley is still the offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Jones’ salary has not been officially announced, though Locksley made $45,000 in 2016 in the same position. It is expected that this will mitigate part of his buyout from Tennessee, which was reported to be approximately than $8.2 million.

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