• Investigators determine UT Athletics staff accepted trips and entertainment from vendors

    By: Chloe Morroni


    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Trouble on Rocky top. An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office just released Wednesday morning showed a number of issues related to UT Knoxville, Sports Surface Management. 

    The issues included trips and entertainment that were provided to UT Athletics staff by a department vendor and prospective vendor. 

    The investigation began after the University of Tennessee Department of Audit and Compliance notified the Comptroller’s Office of possible discrepancies. 

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    Investigators determined the director of sports surface management violated university policy when he accepted at least two paid trips and related entertainment from a department vendor which had previously been awarded an equipment lease worth $763,898. 

    In 2016, the director traveled to Illinois for two days of golf, and he also participated in a golf scramble in Georgia. 

    The vendor paid for lodging, air fare, green fees, and other items. 

    This violated UT’s policy prohibiting university employees from accepting entertainment or other gifts exceeding $75 in value. 

    In 2014, two current UT athletics department employees attended a day of the Masters as guests of a potential vendor. 

    In response to the report, Comptroller Justin Wilson said, “The University of Tennessee may wish to consider annual or periodic employee training related to its gift acceptance policy.”

    For more on this investigation, see documents

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