Stewart Mandel answers his own questions.
… But what of Hamilton? Under his watch, one of the nation’s proudest athletic programs has deteriorated into one of its most shameful. Will Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek go along with the illusion that the football mess can be blamed entirely on that mercenary scoundrel Kiffin, and that reducing Pearl’s salary last fall was an adequate show of force? Or, will he do the right thing: recognize that Hamilton was ultimately Pearl’s and Kiffin’s greatest enabler; that Hamilton’s department is a textbook example of the risks of allowing splashy head coaches the freedom to act as their own freewheeling autocrats; and that ultimately Hamilton and his whole department should be replaced and rebuilt?
… Rarely does the NCAA come down specifically on the athletic director, possibly because of his or her lack of direct involvement in the case or possibly because many ADs play an active role in the governance of college athletics. Just last November, amid the NCAA’s investigation, Hamilton was named to the executive committee of the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association. He’s clearly respected by his peers.
But Hamilton, who succeeded former Vols football coach Doug Dickey in the AD’s chair in 2003, represents a common dichotomy among modern-day athletic directors: He’s a businessman first, manager second. His background before his current gig was primarily in fundraising and marketing, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Under his watch, Tennessee has more than doubled its fundraising revenue, struck lucrative licensing and endorsement deals and undergone massive facilities upgrades…
So ADs don’t turn on their own and Hamilton raises a boatload of money for his school.
I think that adds up to a “hells, no”.