The University of Tennessee has placed on administrative leave Gary Sousa, director of the school's Pride of the Southland marching band since 1997, citing "insubordination, misrepresentation of facts, and a lack of confidence in Sousa's ability to work constructively and collaboratively with others going forward." The announcement came Monday after Sousa, band members and alumni spoke out last week over concerns that band traditions were being threatened by the athletic department. Complaints centered on the band's reduced playing time, travel and budget. In a letter to Sousa, who reportedly earns $152,000 annually, UT provost Susan Martin noted, "Competition for resources and conflict between competing interests within the university are normal. Your actions to circumvent the normal methods of conflict resolution are shockingly insubordinate." Don Ryder, a 14-year veteran of the UT music department, will serve as interim band director for the rest of the fall semester. "We fully support the Pride of the Southland Band. We want every student musician to have a great experience and enjoy being part of a wonderful and cherished tradition," UT chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said in a university release. "The Pride has a 144-year esteemed history with our university. It is never about just one person. We must stand together and work together to create the very best game day experience for all."
- by Paul Steinbach
- October 2013
Paul Steinbach is Senior Editor of Athletic Business.
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LSU Investigating Star Player's Family for NCAA Rules Violation LSU is investigating whether the family of star running back Leonard Fournette violated NCAA rules, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. read more
U.S. Soccer Announces Ban on Heading for U-11 Players
In response to a class-action lawsuit that sought rules changes and a reduction in concussions, U.S. Soccer announced guidelines on Monday that will prohibit young players from heading the ball.read more
Did Family of LSU Player Commit an NCAA Violation? Before Leonard Fournette made his debut at LSU, his parents and a family associate were setting up an online business to capitalize on the star running back's growing fame. The plan was to sell T-shirts and hats emblazoned with "BUGA Nation," an acronym for "Being United Generates Attitude" that Fournette helped develop when he was the top-rated high school recruit in the country. Paul Price, described by Fournette's mother as the family's manager, made payments of about $10,000 to build a website and produce the merchandise to be sold, the owners of three companies involved told USA TODAY Sports. The owners said they gave Price and the Fournettes more than $20,000 in discounts because they expected strong sales driven by the star running back's popularity. Even with the discounts, one of the business owners said he had yet to be paid in full. The website launched the week of LSU's 2014 season opener, but the business went no further -- sales of T-shirts and hats were stopped within 24 hours after the NCAA learned of the site's existence, Lory Fournette said. read more
How Will Rules Changes Impact College Hoops Season? Of all the new rules aimed at speeding up college basketball, where team scoring average dropped again to just 67.6 last season, the reduction of the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds may be the most well-known. But that one may not even help much. "There's some coaches I've talked to with an NBA background who feel 30 will favor the defense," UA coach Sean Miller said. "Against a great defensive team, the longer the possession, the greater the chance you have to break that defensive team down. "Five seconds less -- that's one or two passes, one dribble drive less, so maybe that will favor the defense. I don't know." The shorter shot clock was used on an experimental basis during the CBI, NIT and CIT tournaments last season, and basketball analytics guru Ken Pomeroy said it resulted in about two more possessions per game. But Pomeroy said it isn't known how coaches who've had time to strategize will attack it now. read more