There's not a lot of love lost between former Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton and a faction of Vols fans who allegedly threatened him and his family during his time in Knoxville.
Speaking with the Chattanooga Times Free Press at a football camp, Crompton recalled the vicious treatment he and his family received while he was playing for the team. In short, it's left him with a "bad taste" that has been tough to shake -- try as he might.
"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.
Crompton played for the Vols from 2006-09, a particularly volatile time for the program that suffered through the painful end of the Phillip Fulmer era and the one-year circus that was the Lane Kiffin stint. There were plenty of bad vibes to go around during that time. One evening after a loss, the quarterback recalled to the paper that an unknown Tennessee fan told Crompton's mother that he wished Jonathan and his entire family would die in a car crash.
Obviously, reasonable people know that's not how Tennessee fans wish to be known. Still, that's an all-too-frequent occurrence across college football.
As one of the most popular sports in the country, college football is taken seriously -- but at the end of the day these are still 18-to-22-year-old young adults with families. They're people, above all else.
Crompton shouldn't have to feel like that towards his alma mater, no matter how bad things were during his time in Knoxville.
"I still believe Tennessee has the number-one fan base in the country," Crompton said. "It's just hard to forget some of the things that happened to me and my family while I was there."