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.
Some Athletes Don't Use Scholarship Money as Intended It may surprise the casual fans that NCAA student-athletes receive checks, even if they aren't yet playing for pay. But they do. Dawn Martinez, assistant athletic director/compliance at the University of New Mexico, said student-athletes with full-ride scholarships will receive $9,340 for the coming school year if they stay in the dorms. She said off-campus student-athletes will receive $9,970.74. Those funds are divided into monthly checks during the fall and spring sessions. read more
Editorial: UNC's Athlete Graduation Program Incomplete UNC Chapel Hill's announcement Thursday that it is formally instituting a program to support former athletes who want to return to the university finish their degrees may be well-intentioned, but misses the mark. read more
Enforcement Director Defends NCAA's Track Record INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Jonathan Duncan understands that a perfect NCAA enforcement division won't catch every cheater in college sports. He still believes his team is getting the job done. Two days after Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby called the NCAA enforcement system overwhelmed and "broken," the NCAA's top cop fired back by defending his staff's work and acknowledging the impossible mission of policing more than 1,200 schools. Yes, sometimes, teams or schools might get away with breaking the rules for a while, Duncan said, but eventually most are caught. read more
Nonprofit IHSA Hit with Open-Records Lawsuit The not-for-profit group that oversees high school sports in Illinois should be subject to state open-records law because it "performs a governmental function" and generates income "from events involving predominantly public schools," a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Better Government Association contends. read more
School Board Bans Parents from Coaching Own Kids Despite strong public opposition, the Berkeley County school board approved Tuesday a so-called ban on parent coaches. The amendment to the district s student activity policy instructs principals not to assign volunteer parents of student athletes for coaching responsibilities at the varsity or junior varsity level within the program in which their son or daughter is participating. The rule allows for exceptions to be made at the discretion of the principal and for full-time employees of the district. read more
Editorial: Wrong to Penalize Players More Than a Coach So under the New Mexico Activities Association's rationale, if an adult violates recruiting rules, it's worth a one-week suspension. If students follow his lead and put down false addresses that allow them to play for him, it's worth a season on the bench. read more