Boy, I sure can’t wait until the details on this emerge.
A longtime, trusted aide to University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones is not with the Volunteers’ program at the present time.
Three independent sources in three cities and two states told 247Sports late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning that a key member of the Vols’ football administration had been legally removed from his duties.
Football Operations Director Chris Spognardi, Jones’ first hire at Tennessee and on Jones’ staffs for a decade, was relieved of his duties late Tuesday evening and placed by the University of Tennessee on paid administrative leave, pending the University’s examination of the situation. UT Senior Associate Athletics Director for Communications Ryan Robinson confirmed to 247Sports that Spognardi had been placed on paid leave on Tuesday afternoon, which has been indicated as standard protocol.
The situation is a legal matter and comment is prohibited beyond acknowledgement of the situation, but UT officials stressed the need to allow due process in this matter.
A fixture on the Vols’ football practice fields and gamedays, Spognardi was not at Tennessee’s practice Wednesday morning, the program’s first of two scheduled sessions on the day. The evening practice is closed to media.
It’s a lucky thing that Booch’s program responds well to adversity.