KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee has relieved the director of bands of his duties and put him on administrative leave for the fall semester flowing the band's complaints for reduced travel and budget cuts.
The university announced Monday Gary Sousa had been relieved as director of the Pride of the Southland Band for insubordination. The university says Don Ryder will serve as interim director the rest of the season.
Officials say Sousa promoted misleading claims to alumni and band members, encouraging them to speak out against the athletic department over limited playing time and budget cuts reducing the band's travel to away football games.
Provost Susan Martin wrote in a letter to Sousa that competing for resources in a university is normal but his actions are "shockingly insubordinate."