Ex-UT coach under probe; KPD to meet with campus police today

John  Trembley

Photo by Saul Young

John Trembley

A criminal investigation has been launched into the actions of former University of Tennessee swimming coach John Trembley, who was fired Tuesday for "gross misconduct."

The Knoxville Police Department will meet this morning with the UT Police Department "to determine what the scope of the investigation might be," KPD Chief David Rausch said Wednesday night.

"The UT police chief (Gloria Graham) called me Tuesday night and asked us to take the lead in the investigation," Rausch said.

Rausch declined to discuss the nature of the probe.

Likewise, the university on Wednesday would not discuss the specifics of Trembley's firing.

"The finding of gross misconduct led us to turn this case over to the proper law enforcement authorities," Margie Nichols, UT's vice chancellor for communications, said in a statement.

"Since this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further."

Attempts to reach Trembley for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Trembley was the second-longest tenured UT coach — next to women's basketball coach Pat Summitt — and one of the university's most decorated swimmers.

Dave Hart, UT vice chancellor and director of athletics, said in a news release Tuesday that the men's swimming and diving coach, who was in his 23rd season, was "relieved of his duties" in violation of his contract.

In a letter from Hart to Trembley with Tuesday's date, the AD writes that "for reasons we discussed today" he was being terminated from his position "for adequate cause" that is contained in his contract.

Hart cites Article XII, Section E, which defines acts of gross misconduct as "theft or dishonesty; gross insubordination; willful destruction of University property; falsification of records; acts of moral turpitude; reporting for duty under the influence of intoxicants; illegal use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances or alcohol; disorderly conduct; provoking a fight "

Hart's letter informs Trembley he has the right to appeal the decision. Options include a review by UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek or UT system President Joe DiPietro, or request a hearing.

Trembley was named SEC Coach of the Year in 2011, the sixth time he had been honored (1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001).

His contract was extended in October 2009 through June 2014.

Trembley came to UT in 1971 as the nation's top swimming prospect. The Vols were undefeated from 1971-74. During an All-America career, Trembley won or was a member of nine NCAA championship efforts.

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Comments » 11

lahvolman2 writes:

got to be related to performance enhancing drugs... wonder how many trophies we'll have to return??? very sad day for the Vol Nation... when it starts rolling downhill, it never seems to stop...

lahvolman2 writes:

God forbid this is a Jerry Sandusky type scandle...

100000strong writes:

in response to lahvolman2:

God forbid this is a Jerry Sandusky type scandle...

That was my thought. What reason would the police be involved? Hope it isn't abuse.

DavidB writes:

The list of possible reasons is in the article: "theft or dishonesty; gross insubordination; willful destruction of University property; falsification of records; acts of moral turpitude; reporting for duty under the influence of intoxicants; illegal use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances or alcohol; disorderly conduct; provoking a fight "

The story will come out eventually, but until then everyone will need to play the wait and see game instead of trying to guess all the worst things that it could be

Wilburinnashville writes:

Something ain't right here.... On one hand, you have a coach who has produced multiple Olympians and NCAA All-Americans. He was the SEC coach of the year last year (an honor which he has won 6 times). On the other hand is an AD who hasn't even unpacked his bags yet. He ran a cheating program at Florida State, then spent a whopping year at Alabama before coming to Knoxville. If Coach Trembley did something wrong, he will pay the consequences. If this is an over reaction to something minor, then Hart best not unpack his bags just yet....

JohnnyVol writes:

Can someone please tell me what Mike Hamilton was stinking doing while at UT...???!!! It sure wasn't overseeing the athletic department. Maybe the real problem has been Hamilton all along, and the others were just dysfunctional pieces. He will go down, surely, as one of the worst A.D.'s in UT history.

Kiffin, Pearl, Trembley, Raleigh...

I know Trembley was there before Hamilton, but did the guy have any idea what was going on under his watch? Good grief!!!

AllforTenn writes:

in response to lahvolman2:

got to be related to performance enhancing drugs... wonder how many trophies we'll have to return??? very sad day for the Vol Nation... when it starts rolling downhill, it never seems to stop...

Jumping to conclusions, aren't you?

SomeGuy writes:

in response to JohnnyVol:

Can someone please tell me what Mike Hamilton was stinking doing while at UT...???!!! It sure wasn't overseeing the athletic department. Maybe the real problem has been Hamilton all along, and the others were just dysfunctional pieces. He will go down, surely, as one of the worst A.D.'s in UT history.

Kiffin, Pearl, Trembley, Raleigh...

I know Trembley was there before Hamilton, but did the guy have any idea what was going on under his watch? Good grief!!!

Hammy counted his beans and that's about all he did. He didn't supervise anyone and Trembley and Fulmer are perfect examples of his complete lack of leadership. Fulmer was by far the worst of the two as he virtually destroyed the football program that pays for so many other things both inside and outside of the athletic department. Hammy was a bean-counter, not a leader and certainly not a manager. UT's revolving door in the President's office allowed him to remain in office long enough to do incredible damage to UT athletics. Sure, Hammy was a nice guy who adopted children but that doesn't make up for the fact that he was a spectacular failure as an AD.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Wondered how long it would take for some idiots to blame Fulmer or Hamilton. We know now.

Pompey writes:

....croneyism always leads to corruption and for at least the last fifty years the UTAD has been "ole boy", Hamilton was only the most recent example.....if UT would spend even a fraction of their resources on quality personnel as they do on buildings the Vols would be world class....

maciste54 writes:

For the past few years now UT has been purging itself of poison. Although it is very painful and disheartening to the fans one can only hope that in the long run the overall body will become healthy again !

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