Failure to manage "at-risk" players was one of the reasons cited by Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley for dismissing Vol for Life coordinator Andre Lott last month.
Documents released by the school in response to an open records request from the News Sentinel suggest Dooley was unhappy with Lott's leadership in the program, which was created in 2010 to help players in the areas of character education, life skills, career development and spiritual growth.
In a June 28 meeting to discuss Lott's job performance, Tennessee senior associate athletics director David Blackburn told Lott that Dooley believed he had failed to meet several goals for improvement, including work on a VFL website and brochure.
Blackburn said Dooley also was concerned about a lack of programs to assist players in off-the-field development and Lott's failure to help "manage at-risk players."
Lott was the team captain in 2001 under coach Phillip Fulmer. He went on to play six seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers, before becoming a high school coach and administrator in Tennessee. He declined to comment for this story, but said earlier this month that he wanted to stay in education.
Lott, who received an annual salary of $56,000, was terminated on July 31. He did not receive a severance, according to UT.
According to the notes from the June 28 meeting, Lott said Dooley hadn't given him enough direction for the VFL program and that it was difficult to communicate with the coach.
Dooley said earlier this month that he wanted to take VFL to "another direction, another level."
"Andre's not working for us now, but he's still part of the family," Dooley said. "This will be a great opportunity to reshape it after we started this from scratch two years ago."
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.