… it’s keeping people no longer working for UT on the payroll.
Category Archives: Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange
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.
The officer who serves as the liaison between the Knoxville Police Department and the University of Tennessee is out of a job.
More for the chafing dishes…
- Meet this year’s crop of first-year head coaches.
- CFN posts Georgia at 19 in its preseason rankings.
- You know why I can’t get on board the Gus Bus yet? The quarterback situation: “After the first two weeks of preseason camp, Malzahn’s early “sooner rather than later” comment has been replaced with his “we want to be sure” statement after the second preseason scrimmage this past weekend.”
- Bill Connelly’s Tennessee preview comes down to one word — “if”.
- Jacob Park, from backup quarterback at Georgia to backup quarterback at Iowa State.
- Nebraska is the latest program to adopt rugby-style tackling.
- Ed Aschoff looks at the evolution of the middle linebacker in today’s SEC.
- Tim Kaine thinks he’s just the guy to bring the Border War (Kansas-Missouri) back to life. After reading this blog post, it sounds like he’s set himself a tough task.
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.
I know that Booch’s personality and Tennessee’s proclivity for crapping the bed in the fourth quarter makes it easy to question the media’s anointment of the Vols as the SEC East favorites, but replacing John Jancek with Bob Shoop may go down as the conference’s shrewdest hire of the offseason.
The Vols ranked 36th nationally in total defense in 2015 but were middle of the road relative to the SEC. Within the league Tennessee ranked seventh in points allowed, eighth in yards allowed, eighth against the run and 11th against the pass. The Vols forced only 19 turnovers, totaled only 26 sacks and allowed 15 conversions on 21 fourth downs.
“Middle of the road” meaning seventh. Shoop’s three Vanderbilt defenses finished sixth twice and fifth once in total defense. (Vandy finished ahead of UT in total defense last season, as well.)
Tennessee’s 2015 defense was more talented than it showed and it won’t surprise me if Shoop has them playing closer to expectations this season. If you’re a Georgia fan, that’s not good.