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.
NCAA Adopting New Anti-Discrimination Measures The NCAA Board of Governors adopted an anti-discrimination measure Wednesday that would affect the way the governing body evaluates bids to host sporting events. The NCAA said the decision came during the board’s quarterly meeting in Indianapolis. In a news release, the NCAA said it requires sites that are hosting events or bidding on them “to demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.” The NCAA said the decision follows actions of legislatures in several states. While the NCAA didn’t specify which states, Mississippi and North Carolina have recently passed laws that critics say can allow discrimination against members of the LGBT community. read more
Investigation: HS Football Team Flouted Rules for Years The Bellevue High School football program violated state rules for years with head coach Butch Goncharoff playing a leading role in major infractions. That was the finding of an independent investigation commissioned by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. Details of the 68-page report were made public on Tuesday. read more
Proposed Law Would Allow Marching Band to Count as PE The time marching band members spend sweating it out on the practice field would satisfy physical education requirements if the Legislature passes a proposed law. read more
Brady Decision Aside, NFL Should Fix Discipline System Not so fast, NFL. Yes, the league was the "winner" in the latest round of Deflategate on Monday, with a federal appeals court reinstating Tom Brady's four-game suspension after deciding Roger Goodell has Wizard of Oz-like powers when it comes to player discipline. But read beyond the headline, and it's clear the three-judge panel from the 2nd Circuit found plenty of fault with the NFL in these endless hostilities. "Somewhat unorthodox" is how Judge Barrington Parker described the NFL's disciplinary system, in which Goodell acts as judge, jury and executioner. read more
Opinion: Enforcing HS Rules Ensures Effectiveness Last week the Utah High School Activities Association disciplined two schools for rules violations. To some, the infractions seemed small. Really? If these violations seem insignificant, which rules are worth enforcing and who gets to decide when they matter? The only thing that matters more than having well-crafted rules in place is the commitment to enforce them. We institute rules in an attempt to protect the integrity of the competition. Even if you hate them, remember that without them, we'd have chaos. read more
Transfer Denied School Choice as Tampering Alleged A three-person faculty committee rejected Washington State center Valentine Izundu's appeal during a hearing on Wednesday afternoon, barring the player from contacting San Diego State University on the grounds that Izundu and the SDSU coaching staff had contact before the season was over. read more
Female Wrestler Grapples for Right to Participate A few months ago, Kathleen Janis and her parents were told that she couldn't wrestle at Central Davis Junior High because girls are not allowed to wrestle in the district at the junior high level, even though they're allowed to do so at Davis County high schools. read more