Inmates running the asylum
The news hit today that University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland Marching Band director Gary Sousa has been placed on administrative leave for insubordination, inability to work with others and misrepresentation of facts.
My, oh my.
I told you my take on a lot of things in this post. I won't repeat them.
Truth be told, I could see this coming. It's the way Tennessee rolls in UT (BS).
I am not privy to everything regarding Sousa's job performance or his interaction with university personnel.
I do know that UT isn't the military and "insubordination" is an interesting term for employees at a land-grant university.
Sources who know tell me that Chancellor Jimmy Cheek is a few cards short of a full deck. Maybe so. UTK hasn't had chancellors with a clue since Jack Reese and Bill Snyder.
Tom Mattingly says it better than I, and, as usual, with his good-hearted fairness and sportsmanship.
Whatever Cheek's case, I say that athletic director Dave Hart and president Joe DiPietro are ultimately responsible. The buck stops there, or at least it did in Harry Truman's day.
"The inmates are running the asylum (at UT)," says a super source.
Tom has a different take:
"Never thought it would happen, but the band’s performance the last few days has done the impossible: make the campus administration look almost reasonable. That’s a tall order, but they’ve come close."
His are points to ponder.
My $1.98 take is that Tennessee has become a national joke and I'm not just talking about the gridiron. (In fact, Butch Jones is a bright spot in a bleak cesspool.)
Academic rank, prestige and prowess have dipped. But, hey, at least we don't top the Playboy party school list anymore.
The jury is still out on Sousa's supposed sins, but this is just sickening.
Strike up the band and play "Send In the Clowns."
Don't bother. They're here.
UPDATE Tuesday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m.: Here is Tuesday's story from the Knoxville News Sentinel (paywall). According to the story by Kristi L. Nelson, band alums are split on Sousa.
Looks like Provost Susan Martin, whom Tony Basilio on his AM talk show just called "the biggest troublemaker on campus," had to mop up for the Chancellor.
Basilio says he doesn't want to see stories like this in the press and isn't taking sides.
Whatever the case, the kids are the losers.