University of Tennessee Band Director Gary Sousa has been relieved of all his duties and placed on paid administrative leave for the rest of the semester following a public disagreement with the university and athletic department regarding budgets and gameday stadium atmosphere.
From the Washington Post:
The university announced Monday that Gary Sousa had been relieved as director of the Pride of the Southland Band due to insubordination, a misrepresentation of facts and a lack of confidence in his ability “to work constructively and collaboratively with others going forward.” The move is pending a full review.
Don Ryder, a 14-year Tennessee employee, will serve as interim director the rest of the season.
This decision comes five days after Tennessee’s band issued a statement saying it was in a “bitter battle” with the school’s athletic department regarding the band’s travel and Neyland Stadium’s game-day atmosphere.
“You will not earn my support through threats, petulance, public disruption or whining,” Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek said in a letter he wrote to Sousa on Monday. “You are a professional band director and a tenured faculty member; please act like it.”
The university released its own statement in response on October 9th. The news broke of Sousa’s release on the 15th.