athletics

Legislature approves alcohol sales at MTSU, TSU campus sports events

The legislature has given final approval to a bill that will allow Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro and Tennessee State University in Nashville to sell alcoholic beverages at campus sports events. The Nashville Post reports the move comes after the House earlier spurned a bill that would have applied only to MTSU — and the revised version, adding TSU, passed by the bare minimum 50 votes needed.

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Black follows TV ad opposing national anthem protests with cancellation of Titans season tickets

U.S. Diane Black’s gubernatorial campaign is distributing copies of an article she wrote on cancelling the Tennessee Titans season tickets because of some players protesting the national anthem last season and deciding with her husband not to renew them for the coming season.

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UT paying $2.5M to settle with former athletic director

The University of Tennessee will pay $2.5 million to its former athletic director, John Currie, under a settlement agreement announced Thursday, reports the News Sentinel. His employment with the university officially ended at 6 p.m. Thursday. He was suspended in December.

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Boyd company gets third TN base in minor league baseball management

Boyd Sports, owned by Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, is taking over management of the Greeneville Reds. It will be the third minor league baseball team in Tennessee to have an agreement with the Knoxville company, reports the Greeneville Sun.

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Comptroller: UT sports staff violated policies in taking freebie golfing trips

Press release from state comptroller’s office

An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has revealed a number of issues related to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Sports Surface Management. These issues include trips and entertainment that were provided to UT Athletics staff by a department vendor and prospective vendor.

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Nashville getting Major League Soccer team

Press release from Major League Soccer

NASHVILLE – (December 20, 2017) – Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber today announced that the historic and culturally dynamic city of Nashville, Tennessee has been awarded an MLS expansion club.

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Former UT football operations director pleads guilty to official misconduct charge

The former director of football operations for the University of Tennessee has pleaded guilty to a charge of official misconduct for faking receipts to account for his expenditure of cash advances, reports the News Sentinel. Chris Spognardi, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday before Knox County Criminal Court Judge Scott Green.

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Politicians cheer appointment of Fulmer as UT athletic director

Tennessee politicians are generally praising the appointment of former head football coach Phil Fulmer as athletics director at the University of Tennessee, reports the News Sentinel, but some are also voicing concerns about the future of the state’s flagship campus in Knoxville.

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TN politicans join fans in shooting down Schiano as UT head football coach; Haslam concerned about ‘rush to judgment’

State legislators and Tennessee gubernatorial candidates joined fans in a revolt that apparently derailed a tentative deal for making Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano the University of Tennessee’s next head football coach, according to media reports.

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UT fires football coach Butch Jones, now owed about $8M

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, winless this season in Southeastern Conference football play, has fired fifth-year coach Butch Jones with two games left in the regular season.

From ESPN:

“Late [Saturday] night, it was evident this was probably the direction we needed to go for the best of all concerned,” Tennessee athletic director John Currie said Sunday at a news conference. “We wanted our student-athletes to have the best possible chance for success. We want Coach Jones and his family to be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

“We want to be able to focus, from my perspective, on the search going forward.”

Defensive line coach Brady Hoke will serve as the Volunteers’ interim head coach.

On Saturday, Tennessee was blown out 50-17 at Missouri for the Vols’ fifth loss in their past six games. Two weeks ago, they lost at Kentucky, marking only their second loss to the Wildcats in the past 33 years.

…Jones’ contract runs through March 2021. His buyout is around $8 million because he is owed $2.5 million per year remaining on his deal. That buyout will be mitigated by whatever salary he might earn in a new coaching job. Jones was making $4.11 million per year at Tennessee.