Tennessee football safety Jaylen McCollough faces no school sanctions stemming from arrest

Liz Kellar
Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee football safety Jaylen McCollough will not be subject to any sanctions by the University of Tennessee stemming from his arrest earlier this month on a charge of aggravated assault, his attorney told Knox News on Friday.

"After a thorough investigation into allegations related to an incident occurring on October 9th, 2022, Jaylen McCollough has resolved this matter with the University of Tennessee’s Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards," attorney Chloe Akers said in a statement.

"As part of an Alternative Resolution Agreement, there was no finding of responsibility against Mr. McCollough for any violations of the University’s Code of Conduct. He remains fully enrolled as a student without suspension or probation."

The 22-year-old has been charged with felony aggravated assault and faces a potential sentence of 3 to 15 years after the Oct. 9 incident in which police say he punched another man in the face. The criminal charges are still pending, according to Knox County District Attorney's Office spokesperson Sean McDermott, and McCollough's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18.

McCollough is a four-year starter for the Vols. This season he is tied for fourth on the team with 23 tackles and had seven tackles in Tennessee's 40-13 win over LSU in Baton Rouge. He leads the team with 353 snaps played on defense, according to Pro Football Focus.

He did not play in last week's game against No. 1 Alabama, although Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel said he was not suspended but was simply not available to play. UT athletics deferred to Heupel's comments when asked by Knox News on Friday about McCollough's status for Saturday's game against UT Martin.

No. 4 Tennessee (6-0) plays UT Martin (4-2) on Saturday (noon ET, SEC Network) for its homecoming game at Neyland Stadium.

What led to Jaylen McCollough's arrest?

At about 3:30 p.m. Oct. 9, Knoxville police responded to a call to a Fort Sanders apartment, the report stated. A man with a bloody, swollen mouth and multiple broken and missing teeth said he had been drinking with friends who live in the complex when he left to get items from a car, according to the arrest warrant.

The man said when he returned, he accidentally went to the wrong building. He knocked on the door but no one answered, so he opened the unlocked door and walked in.

Tennessee defensive back Jaylen McCollough (2) pulls down Florida wide receiver Xzavier Henderson (3) during an NCAA college football game between on Saturday, September 24, 2022 in Knoxville, Tenn.

When he realized he had entered the wrong apartment, he told police he apologized and left. He said McCollough pursued him. According to the incident report, he said he apologized again but also told McCollough he "didn't have to be a (expletive) about it." McCollough punched him in the face and the man fell backward down the stairs, losing consciousness, the report says.

Police found blood on the stairs leading to the top floor of the building near the apartment. They also spoke to a woman who said she was McCollough’s girlfriend. She called McCollough back to the scene, and he arrived with a bloody bandage on his right hand.

McCollough did not answer any questions, the report says, and he was taken into custody.

McCollough was released on a $2,500 bond and will be in court for a preliminary hearing into the evidence against him on Nov. 18.