While football takes a rest, Tennessee basketball is speeding toward Nov. 11 and the opening game against Chattanooga.
A historical tidbit is hiding in that forthcoming engagement. Peyton Woods, 6-3 guard, plays for the Mocs. He is the son of Rodney and Cynthia Woods of Monticello, Kentucky. Rodney, point guard and captain under Ray Mears, was Peyton’s coach in high school. Peyton is named for you know who.
This week I am in Tbilisi, Georgia, as an election observer for their parliamentary elections. The trip is sponsored by the International Republican Institute, a private, nonprofit group. IRI promotes democratic procedures, fair elections and participatory democracy as does its counterpart, which is the National Democratic Institute. Neither is part of the partisan RNC or DNC.
Georgia was part of the former Soviet Union and is where Joseph Stalin was born. It has been an independent nation for 25 years with varying degrees of success. I was present four years ago in Georgia, also as an election observer for IRI, when parliamentary elections were held and resulted in the ruling party being swept out of office.
There has been widespread speculation as to what caused Dave Hart to retire now as UT athletic director effective June 30, 2017.
With numerous off-the-record inquiries, this writer has determined it was a result of an honest disagreement between Hart and UT President Joe DiPietro over the best response to the Title IX lawsuits over gender discrimination in the Athletic Department.
The East Tennessee Development District, along with the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency, celebrates 50 years at an awards banquet at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris on July 14. This agency has assisted many disadvantaged persons in the mid-east Tennessee area.
■ Former U.S. Sen. Bill Brock, who lives in Annapolis, Md., is a former Republican National Committee chair, but he will not attend the Republican National Convention for the first time in over three decades.
What’s it going to take for the University of Tennessee’s deciders to admit they’ve got a Dave Hart problem?
Did they take a clue from the bombshell lawsuit filed by six unnamed women – one of whom the alleged victim of former UT football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams, who were dismissed from the team in 2014 after being charged with rape – which brought UT another dose of unwanted attention last week? The term “rape culture” is pretty much guaranteed to make news, and the story is an unfortunate follow-up to last summer’s news that the feds have included UT among the schools under investigation for violations of Title IX, the law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in educational institutions that receive federal funds.
Like everyone else who occupies a place where the proverbial buck stops, UT Athletic Director Dave Hart has a record of doing things that lots of people agree with, and other things that a lot of people don’t.
One of the latest flaps has been over the marginal state of the grass on Shields-Watkins Field. The usual questions came up, such as why can’t we keep it looking like a putting green? … and, who’s to blame?
Dave Hart, University of Tennessee athletic director, is acting as though the Lady Vol name controversy has blown over and it is business as usual.
Hart was quoted recently as saying the Athletic Department has moved on from this controversy. Little does he understand the Tennessee mindset when he says that. He can expect to see it considered in the next legislative session when respected members like Roger Kane and Becky Duncan Massey bring it up.