UT bills mount in NCAA defense

Records show legal teams receive hundreds of thousands since '09

INDIANAPOLIS - Coaches, no matter what the sport is, consider a valuable defense to be a priceless commodity.

The same can be said for an athletic department's legal team in a 26-month NCAA investigation.

That kind of defense, however, most certainly has a price. And it's meaty.

Through January 2011, the University of Tennessee, which - alongside a number of its former rule-breaking coaches - will appear today before the NCAA Committee on Infractions, paid more than $202,000 in legal fees, according to legal documents obtained by the News Sentinel through a Freedom of Information request.

Legal fees paid by UT by month since the NCAA investigation began in November 2009.

- Nov. 2009: $1,783

- Dec. 2009: $9,893

- Jan. 2010: $4,232

- Feb. 2010: $2,357

- March 2010: $19,562

- April 2010: $18,440

- May 2010: $19,127

- June 2010: $20,970

- July 2010: $19,469

- Aug. 2010: $27,923

- Sept. 2010: $16,720

- Oct. 2010: $10,650

- Nov. 2010: $14,208

- Dec. 2010: $7,773

- Jan. 2011: $9,015

- Total: $202,122

That figure does not include the man hours its Kansas City-based lawyers from the firm Bond, Schoeneck and King put in during the 90 days it was allotted to respond to February's Notice of Allegations. Based on the hourly rates charged by the university's high-profile lawyers, who specialize in NCAA-related cases, the final tally could very well dwarf the latest figure released by the school.

Today's appearance before the Committee on Infractions will likely add more than $25,000 to the final tab. According to the Hartford Courant, the University of Connecticut paid Bond, Schoeneck and King $25,811 for its appearance last October.

All told, UConn, like most major programs that are summoned to the Committee on Infractions, paid a small fortune by the time its investigation was over. It originally paid Bond, Schoeneck and King $338,000 to investigate problems within its men's basketball program but was eventually forced to request permission to spend another $337,000, according to the newspaper.

Using the same law firm as UT, the University of Alabama spent $188,443 over a year while defending itself during its textbook scandal-triggered NCAA investigation, according to The Birmingham News. The University of Michigan paid more than $600,000 to the firm Lightfoot, Franklin, White during its recent infractions case, according to Ann-Arbor.com.

Throughout its investigation, which began in April 2009, UT has worked directly with Michael Glazier, the lead attorney of the firm's Collegiate Sports Practice Group. Before he landed at Bond, Schoeneck and King, Glazier, who began his career working for the NCAA in the infractions department, co-founded the Slive/Glazier Sports Group with Mike Slive, who has served as the SEC commissioner since 2002.

UT sought counsel seven months into its investigation. It was first billed for services on Nov. 13, 2009, when Glazier made separate phone calls to UT associate athletic director for compliance Brad Bertani, men's athletic director Mike Hamilton and NCAA enforcement official Dave Didion regarding the NCAA's inquiry into the school's men's basketball, football and baseball programs.

None of the 12 major violations levied against UT implicated the baseball program, but it did spend months in the NCAA's crosshairs, according to the legal documents.

At the start of UT's relationship with Bond, Schoeneck and King, Glazier charged $305 per hour and Kyle Skillman, another attorney actively involved in the case, charged $195. By October 2010, Glazier's rate was $330 per hour and Skillman's jumped to $205.

Chris Schoemann, another lawyer who helped UT during the investigation, charged $205 per hour at the start and $215 by October 2010.

Time devoted to the transcription of interviews cost UT $80 per hour.

UT spent just $1,782 in its first month with the firm, but that total jumped to nearly $10,000 in December 2009 when potential violations in the Lane Kiffin-led football program popped onto the radar. The bulk of those funds covered the work done, and expenses accrued, by Glazier when he traveled to West Palm Beach, Fla., to sit in on multiple NCAA interviews with people whose names were redacted in the documents provided to the News Sentinel.

Glazier also participated in NCAA interviews with Byrnes (S.C.) High School strength coach Mike Srock and the school's athletic director, Bobby Bentley. Srock was interviewed on three occasions from December 2009 to December 2010.

Former quarterbacks coach David Reaves, who is now the offensive coordinator at New Mexico, is accused of failing to notify the school of improper contact with recruits. He allegedly was aware that two members of the UT hostess group known as Orange Pride traveled to Byrnes High and posed for pictures with two high school prospects - Corey Miller, who is a sophomore at UT, and Brandon Willis, who is now at North Carolina.

UT paid its legal team the bulk of its money for hours worked from March 2010 to November 2010.

In March, Glazier spent two days at UT while the NCAA interviewed a number of UT football staffers. The group included offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, defensive line coach Lance Thompson, associate athletic director David Blackburn and Kris Ann Hawkins, the top coordinator of Orange Pride.

April 2010 featured more travel and more interviews regarding the UT football program. Former assistant Eddie Gran, who is now at Florida State, and former assistant director of football operations Bruce Warwick were among those interviewed by the NCAA in a month that ended with $18,440 in legal fees for UT.

In June, Glazier, accompanied by Skillman, returned to Knoxville for two more days while former men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl and his staff of assistants interviewed with, and ultimately misled, NCAA investigators. Flying in, feeding and housing the lawyers made up for $1,835 of the $20,970 spent that month.

The largest sum, though, came in an August that ended with a $27,923 bill.

Glazier started the month with a trip back to Knoxville to participate in the NCAA's second round of interviews with Pearl and his staff. Near the end of the month, he traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., where he participated in Reaves' interview with the NCAA. The next two days were just as busy, as Glazier participated in NCAA interviews with Kiffin and former UT assistants Monte Kiffin, Willie Mack Garza, Ed Orgeron, James Cregg and Aaron Ausmus.

Reaves and Orgeron interviewed with the NCAA once more in November 2010. Orgeron's recruiting records were requested by the NCAA later that month, according to the legal documents.

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble.

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Comments » 21

Caspian writes:

So, what's the point KNS? Are you saying that it costs money to hire professional legal services? Did you think we didn't know this? Am I supposed to be shocked or something? Are you saying UT should have spent less and gone to "Lawyers R Us"?

FWBVol writes:

in response to Nivram:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

People continue to complain about the athletic department spending money on buyouts, coaches contracts, stadium/facility upgrades and now legal fees claiming that these expenses raise the cost of tution. As many others have stated this is false as the UTAD receives not one dime of tax payer money and in fact gives a healthy total back to the education fund each year.

And then people argue that tution is raised because the athletic department isn't able to give as much back to academics because of these extra expenses in the athletic department. I guess the next step in the progression of this logic is that if we didn't have an athletic department, which doesn't use tax payer money and in fact gives back to academics, tution would never be raised at all.

It is not the UTAD's fault that the ecomony is bad. The University of West Florida, located in Pensacola, announced this week it was raising tution and UWF has a Division II athletic program and doesn't play football. I can't figure out who UWF students will blame for the increase in tution.

That said, athletic department money could be used for better things within the department and the University of Tennessee if the UTAD didn't have to pay these legal fees.

vols1990 writes:

general counsel rarely wins law suits.

TKO writes:

Wish it wasn't closed door.


That's why they hired IMG to sale more of those Football seats wit the $1,000.00 donation attached.

jskid writes:

in response to Caspian:

So, what's the point KNS? Are you saying that it costs money to hire professional legal services? Did you think we didn't know this? Am I supposed to be shocked or something? Are you saying UT should have spent less and gone to "Lawyers R Us"?

Add this up, and we're probably gonna be approaching $12 million spent on buy-outs and attorney fees. Don't think that's news-worthy?

MusicCityVol writes:

I know its big numbers but the athletic department has big revenues. There are lots of things to scrutinize about the department under Hamilton's watch. Money, even buyouts, isn't one of them.

Hamilton's Professional Legacy To Be Defined In Indy

1965Vol writes:

Wonder if these $300 an hour lawyer-dude-guys charge time-and-a-half for workin' on Saturday?

carbonzip writes:

Local, State and Federal laws aren't involved and the NCAA has no legal authority, so why the need for so many lawyers?

Try a shrimp cocktail at St Elmo's Steakhouse.

paradisetaxi writes:

UT is always crying POOR !!!!! ONLY when it suits THEM. Its a bunch of ...hmmmmm.... malarky

knoxchatter writes:

If these lawyers are really smart, they could walk away with even higher compensation from UT just by simply exhibiting a CONTINUOUS LOSING STREAK in these type of cases or sending Cheek a little RESIGNATION NOTE!!! KUH-CHING$$$$$ !!

jskid writes:

in response to MusicCityVol:

I know its big numbers but the athletic department has big revenues. There are lots of things to scrutinize about the department under Hamilton's watch. Money, even buyouts, isn't one of them.

Hamilton's Professional Legacy To Be Defined In Indy

Good for Mike! He's a fine, Christian man; perhaps he is able to do all he has done because of his salary he received as AD. Keep in mind, however, he was paid to be a leader, and he hasn't done very well in that department.

So the contributions increased 6-fold while he was here; I'm sure there was a corresponding increase in the pressure to have successful programs. Perhaps that was enough to cause a breakdown in business ethics. No, Hamilton could not have kept Pearl from lying, or Kiffin from cheating and leaving, but did he do enough in his tenure to stop that behavior? Or did he "let it slide"?

I for one, don't believe Hamilton's tenure as AD was a successful one, I don't believe he is without fault, and I believe that he had full knowledge of all of the infractions, and may have contributed to those infractions.

Sometimes, the only thing needed for evil to endure is for good men to do nothing.

jskid writes:

When I was at UT, we took our activities card to the Student Center and got tickets for the games. That was included in our tuition. Do they still do that?

kingmufasa76 writes:

in response to jskid:

When I was at UT, we took our activities card to the Student Center and got tickets for the games. That was included in our tuition. Do they still do that?

funny how time has changed 75 to 100 for season football tixs

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Billy Bob,
Your 'citation' of reference has nothing to do with this case. In fact, after reading it, the guy that did the assaulting had no affiliation with UT whatsoever, and was sentenced to prison. How is your point relevant to this CURRENT article?


RoadTrip writes:

I know I don't have to comment on an article/thread if I have nothing to say. I would advise KNS to do likewise. When they give all of their good reports to the pay site this is all you are left with - nothing.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

It is absolutely pitiful how you as the local newspaper always bash UT. You would think that you would bend over backwards to support them. Oh well, it is what it is. I hope you sell plenty of papers and I hope you sleep well at night.

Go Vols!

arkyvol writes:

funny. the attorneys attempting to get the vols tails out of a crack aren't getting paid much more than tennessee paid the clown who got them there for resigning.

silentmajority writes:

Wow! Its breaking out all overf!

Why do we have to pay extra fro UT's attorneys? Arent they on the payroll already?

This slime pit we call UT is getting smellier every day, in every way. If there is clearly a million or so that has been secretly spent in this single tomfoolery, how much such thievery lies hidden still?

I've suggested it before, but here goes again:

What we need is a good old fashioned audit (say, by Alabama lawyers) to do a complete audit of the books.

The second thing we need is for UT to send pearl a bill for all litigation tied to his sins.

the third thing we need to do - -ah, shucks, there are too many things to mention!

not_guilty writes:

If the attorneys were to withdraw, would the administration pay them a buyout in an amount greater than they would have been paid if they had stayed on the job and actually earned their fees?

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

Well it seems to me no matter what UT does u guys are gonna get on here and cry and complain about it. There are alot of programs out there far worse than UT and have done far worse things than what UT has done.

Whining about buyouts and lawyers I mean cmon,maybe you guys need to enroll at UT and learn how to run a business cause thats chump change compared to what UT brings in from the ad department in a single year.

This is pathetic im ashamed to be a UT fan cause every site I go to noone is supporting em just downing em, go to any other teams sites and all you see is support. They only down other teams. U guys make me sick

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