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
San Francisco officials are on the verge of spitting out a rule that would ban smokeless tobacco from ball fields throughout the city, including the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park.
If the ban is approved, AT&T Park would become the first major league ballpark to ban smokeless tobacco. It’s a move welcomed by Major league Baseball.
“As we have repeatedly and publicly acknowledged, MLB has long supported a ban of smokeless tobacco at the Major League level," the league said in a statement, "and we intend to comply with all applicable laws regarding the use of smokeless tobacco on the field in all of our ballparks.”
As the Los Angeles Times reports, The ban still needs to pass a second Board of Supervisors vote and be signed by Mayor Ed Lee.
“San Francisco will send a simple and strong message,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, who introduced the ordinance. “Tobacco use in sports will no longer harm our youth, our health.”
Bans against smoking have become commonplace in this country, but rules against smokeless tobacco are not as widespread.
According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, 1,203 municipalities in the United States have enacted 100% smokefree laws and all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums have rules that limit or completely prohibit smoking. The same cannot be said about smokeless tobacco.
Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Howell, told the L.A. Times he chews a can of smokeless tobacco each day. However, he’s still in favor of the San Francisco ban.
"I'm for it,” he said. “It should be enforced. It's common sense. It's a filthy habit. I do it. Maybe it will help me quit," Howell said. "I've tried to quit every off-season. It's mainly more cutting back than quitting.”
But he may not speak for all major leaguers.
Per the L.A. Times:
The Major League Baseball Players Assn. declined to comment on the legislation.
During the last round of collective bargaining, management sought — and the union rejected — a ban on smokeless tobacco. Such a ban is in place in the minor leagues, where management can implement changes unilaterally.
The union argued that it would not be appropriate to ban a product that remains legal and widely available.
However, management and the union agreed to forbid the use of smokeless tobacco in televised interviews and player appearances, to restrict players from carrying tobacco products in their uniforms, to develop and implement educational programs to demonstrate the health risks of tobacco use, and to provide resources to any player wishing to quit.
The Campaign for Tabacco-Free Kids estimates about 535,000 children ages 12 to 17 start using smokeless tobacco each year.
The case of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston received as much media attention for the manner in which it was handled as it did for the star player involved. Erica Kinsman met Winston at a nightclub in December 2012, and after doing a shot with the then freshman quarterback that she believes was spiked, she found herself in a cab going back to his apartment where the alleged rape occurred.read more