In Knoxville, they’re taking the band apart, one instrument at a time.
Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy Cheek announced earlier in the summer that he will be stepping down when his replacement is found.
Now Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart will follow him out the door, effective June 30, 2017, Tennessee confirmed on Thursday morning via a press release.
He was hired to put Tennessee athletics back in the black, which he’s done. Which is a good thing, because they’ve certainly needed the money.
Hart faced plenty of adversity during his tenure.
Eight unidentified women sued Tennessee in February and said the school created a “hostile sexual environment” through a policy of indifference toward sexual assault complaints against athletes.
Two other lawsuits came after Tennessee completed the consolidation of its athletic department. Tennessee had been one of the last schools to have separate athletic departments for its men’s and women’s teams.
Former Tennessee associate director of sports medicine Jenny Moshak and two ex-Lady Vols strength coaches said they received less compensation than employees holding similar positions for men’s teams. A $750,000 settlement was announced in January, though costs exceeded $1 million once attorneys’ fees were included.
A $320,000 settlement was reached with former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings, who said age and sex discrimination led to her forced retirement.
Adversity, you say? Well, if you wanted an AD used to adversity, you certainly picked the right guy for that, UT.
Before Hart, an Alabama alumnus who played basketball for the Crimson Tide, took his post in Tuscaloosa in August 2008, he was the athletic director at Florida State (1995-2007)…
Florida State vacated 12 football wins, 22 men’s and women’s basketball wins and a men’s track national championship as a result of an academic cheating scandal at Florida that involved 61 student-athletes in 10 sports in 2006 and ’07. Cheek said the incident originated on the academic side of the school, and Hart indicated his decision to leave FSU was “unrelated” to the scandal.
Hart wrote in a letter to the NCAA Committee on Infractions in 2009 that he and FSU president T.K. Wetherell “disagreed on some core issues.”
Now, of course, the question for the school is where do you go from here? I mean, Mike Hamilton and Dave Hart are some big, big shoes to fill. I’d like to think I have the perfect candidate to take the reins in K-ville, and fortuitously, he’s available. If anyone could use a little re-branding right now, it’s Tennessee.