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Local sports media again asleep at the wheel.
Last Friday, the UT Board of Trustees approved a major shake-up to the UTK Athletics Board.
See pages 250-257 of the minutes for details.
Now, if only some reporter somehwere would write an article explaining what is really going on.
Good find. Dave Hart working to get things done
Butch Jones. Who???
Here is another. I suppose you are aware of The Drake Group and their agenda for collegiate sports.
Fritz Polite has been on the UTK Athletic Board and is also on the Executive Committee of the Drake Group.
From their website, I ascertain that they are seeking to ensure that the cutting of corners in class work (tutors doing work, professors turning a blind eye to attendance etc.) is completely eliminated. That right?
"Count it down with me. Five, four, three, two, one.
The national champion is clad in Big Orange!"
I am not sure what their intensions were. I know that while managing a $1 billion-plus asset, they pissed away $100 million in reserves at UTK and are operating at a loss.
I also know that currently UTK admission standards are higher than VANDERBILT, to say nothing of the NCAA.
I am sure their holier-than-thou attitude remains in tact.
In what way does this decrease the influence of Susan Martin? I'm not very familiar with the structure of the board, and I don't know what capacity she serves in.
I've heard she's everything we should hate.
"When we step on that football field, everyone flips a switch. And it's on..." - Butch Jones
Do you consider the message board writers "local sports media?"
I hope this really means change. It is rediculous that it ever came to this situation. They brought down a HOF coach and one of the winningest football programs in SEC history. Everyone at UT who brought this on should be fired immediately. And personally, I will never forgive them. They have primarily caused me to hear 5 years of $#it from fans of other football powers. I hope the door hits them in the rear on the way out.
This post was edited by DCVOL 16 months ago
Maybe we will start seeing some differences in the program in the near future. Either way I hope this will help the program go in the right direction.
This was actually brought up at the last BoT meeting in November/December. This was just the official vote. I think it was overshadowed (at least in Chattanooga) by the naming of a new Chancellor at UTC to replace Dr. Brown...
The University of Tennessee board of trustees today appointed Steve Angle as the new chancellor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Dr. Polite is a family friend and former Assistant under Bobby Bowden at FSU, so he has close ties to college football. He is an excellent professor and works to ensure that many of UT's student athletes are working to get their degrees just like any student at UT. I dont have any connection with the Drake Group but I can vouch that Dr. Polite is a great asset for the UT faculty and the UT Athletic Department and Board
“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”
― Winston Churchill
A new Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) was appointed in July. He is Don Bruce a professor in the Center for Business and Economics Research - MBA programs plus. He cosigned the athletics department memo with Dave Hart.
Here is my interpretation.
Dave Hart came in and saw that the regime that did a hostile takeover of the AD in 2001, had run it into ground - like Tony Soprano becoming your partner in your restaurant. They had drained their reserves and were bleeding red ink. The product sucked. On top of that, they were on NCAA probation.
Hart saw an opening and took it. He used consolidation of the men's and women's department as a means of not only doing the necessary cost-cutting, but he used the pain to focus on the mismanagement of the AD by the faculty senate.
The Don Bruce hire signaled the intent to run the AD as a business. It is also why Doug Matthews became so high on Hart. I suppose Doug also knew that the governor was getting ready to make his move.
Then DD took everything to its logical end. This created more pain and even more urgency to do something.
The coach search generated feedback about how mismanaged everything was. The AD took his pound of flesh by getting $6 million a year from UTK. Then Charlie Strong turned us down. A black coach turned down a chance to coach at one of the premiere pprograms in the SEC (country).
The die was cast.
On January 11, the provost Office posts a job opening for an assistant provost whose primary duties included managing the Thorton Center - the Holy Grail in this political battle.
In early February, Governor Haslem - out of the blue - makes an announcement that goes rapid-fire throughout all state media to state the obvious, the financial health of the football team is critical to financial health of the AD and the school. That didn't need to be stated because almost everyone already knows it. It was a message to whomever was not "getting it" in the faculty senate (Susan Martin??).
Then the UT Board of Trustees (BOT) issues its revision of the mission for the UTK AD Board of Directors.
The plan will not revert to the previous system of having the AD report to the UT System President and ostensibly leaves the UTK chancellor in charge . In theory but not in reality.
The board is cut from 41 to 18 members (23 seat cut). I have not seen the before-and-after, but I bet most of the 23 were faculty members. Presumably that leaves a solid majority of voting members who actively support the AD.
The statement clearly states that from now on the board will only be in charge of broad policy directives. Think "advise and consent".
The mission clearly states that these changes "obviate the need for an executive committe". In other words, Hart and Bruce is telling Cheek and Martin that the executive committe (Hart, FAR plus whoever) will now run the AD. The board will sit on the sidelines and offer suggestions. Think board of directors in a corporation with a CEO, COO, CFO, etc.
This is a complete reverse hostile takeover. Somewhere in here is likely a new process for streamlining approval of the 4-5 tweener blue-chips every year in recruiting
I t will be interesting to monitor the firing of the Assistant Provost to who will oversee the Thorton Center.
I can only guess about specifics, My guess is that Susan martin is out of the sports management business and is back in the Provost business full-time. There is nothing to explicitly suggest that the Thorton Center will be taken away from the Provost office. I am betting there will be a change in attitude. The office will be more concerned with helping athletes than enforcing their attitudes.
One ofthe recent minutes from the Athletic Committee of the faculty senate explicitly states their intent to move Thorton Center resources and focus away from helping athletes with the highest need to athletes with the lowest needs.
In what world does that make sense?
I continue to fault them for failing to meet their fiduciary responsibilities.
The replacement value of the UTAD hard assets is well over $1 billion. When they took over the UTAD, the revenue in current dollars was about $120 million, generating profits and had reserves of about $50 - 100 million. Now the revenues are off by 20% and they are running at a loss. For that alone, they should have the management taken away from them.
And again, the department was put on probation on their watch.
If the changes mean what I think they do, the glass ceiling on the program has been broken. Under the previous regime we were never going to be above a Top 25 team.
This story is an ongoing story that is at least 12 years old. Yet, John Adams and company barely reported anything on this subject. Is this not their job.
Doug Matthews, a former UT DC, a sports radio host and alumnus of Vanderbilt, says flat out it now harder for an athlete to get admitted into UTK than into Vanderbilt.
Have you read any articles about all this since Linda Bensil Myers left? Why not?
Why is KNS not reporting a major restructuring of the AD Board?
This post was edited by UTSwamper 16 months ago
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