Former Tennessee AD: Threats led family to flee

FILE - Tuesday, June 7, 2011 file photo, Mike Hamilton speaks during a news conference announcing his resignation as athletic director at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, Tenn. Former University of Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton told the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 he received threats last spring that led him to move his family out of Knoxville briefly. Hamilton said that the threats led him to be assigned police protection.   (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

FILE - Tuesday, June 7, 2011 file photo, Mike Hamilton speaks during a news conference announcing his resignation as athletic director at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, Tenn. Former University of Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton told the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 he received threats last spring that led him to move his family out of Knoxville briefly. Hamilton said that the threats led him to be assigned police protection. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Former University of Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said he received threats last spring that led him to move his family out of Knoxville briefly.

Hamilton told the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Thursday that the threats led him to be assigned police protection (http://bit.ly/A8WtSd).

The 48-year-old Hamilton talked about what he called his "difficult" final months at UT while promoting his new venture as president of Operations for the Nashville-based charity Blood-Water Mission. The nonprofit organization works with the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.

Hamilton, who was athletic director for eight years and worked at the university for 19 years in all, resigned in June following a lengthy NCAA investigation into the Volunteers basketball and football programs that resulted in the firing of popular basketball coach Bruce Pearl and a self-imposed two-year probation for the athletics department.

"I received several threats and it reached a point that I moved my family out of Knoxville for several days last spring and I was even assigned police protection," Hamilton said.

He said that he and his wife have five young adopted children "so I had to stop and realize life is short and it was time to reassess my priorities."

Three of the children are from Africa.

"I'm like a lot of men. I have my pride and I'm stubborn about admitting I need to make changes in my life, but I had to step back," Hamilton said. "And after I left UT, the Lord opened up wonderful opportunity for my family and me."

Hamilton said he "needed some time away from that world to recharge my batteries" but has not ruled out a return to working in athletics.

"I've thought about whether I would get back into athletics, because there are aspects of that world that I do miss and enjoy, so I would never say never," he said.

Hamilton said he is often asked about UT.

"I love that university and I'm proud of what we accomplished in my time there," he said.

Hamilton said of his last two major coaching hires, Derek Dooley and Cuonzo Martin, that he keeps up with them and how they are doing.

"I view them now more as friends than as people I helped hire now," he said. "I actually stopped by Memorial Gym Tuesday afternoon before (UT) played Vanderbilt to talk with Cuonzo and his staff. I didn't stay for the game because I didn't feel like that was my place right now. I also went to a UT football game last fall, and I'm pulling for Derek and the program."

Asked if he regrets hiring Lane Kiffin as football coach, Hamilton said "Lane was the right person for the job at that time. I hate how things worked out in the end, but there was no way of seeing that when we made that hire."

Hamilton said all his decisions while at UT were "made with the best interest of the university in mind."

___

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

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Comments » 79

FWBVol writes:

I think it's ashame that fans would threaten Hamilton and his family offer the things that happened in the athletic department. We have to get a grip on things and realize there are bigger things in life than sports.

Mike Hamilton did a great job of raising funds and helping keep the facilities at UT top tier and he should be commended for that. And, it isn't his fault that Pearl made the mistakes that led to his demise.

Hamilton did make a disaster of the baseball. And, IMO, whether it was time for Phillip Fulmer to go or not, Hamilton could have handled that firing much better.

As for his comment about Kiffin being the right guy at the right time, maybe it seemed that way then...I know a lot of us, myself included, wanted it to be. But we didn't have the resources to research all things Kiffin and how he would try to change UT into the USC West.

Hamilton might have had a clue that Kiffin would bolt when he had the escape clause in his contract that would allow him to go to Southern Cal.

But again, none of these things are reasons for the threats made against Mike Hamilton.

thevoice writes:

I'm guessing the perpetrators live on GVX. Shouldn't be too difficult to track 'em down.

Best of luck, Mike. You're a good-hearted man and certainly didn't deserve threats. On with your higher calling.

CarlChilders writes:

Downright pitiful. I don't feel very proud to be a supporter right now.

CCLC writes:

Did some Bama fans slip into some orange camo?
just sayin'

CoverOrange writes:

One day Mike will write a tell-all book and then we'll know what really happened. I may be dreaming.

Making threats is the last bastion of people who have no basis for their argument and/or no ability to debate it but refuse to concede.

NashvillePreds writes:

Boo-hoo Hammy.
I'm not in support of the threats, but you were an unmitigated disaster.
Good riddance.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to CCLC:

Did some Bama fans slip into some orange camo?
just sayin'

Idiots and eccentrics exist everywhere, even in Georgia. Let's not cast stones from glass houses. Just sayin'

utalum04 writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Boo-hoo Hammy.
I'm not in support of the threats, but you were an unmitigated disaster.
Good riddance.

Classy

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I think it's ashame that fans would threaten Hamilton and his family offer the things that happened in the athletic department. We have to get a grip on things and realize there are bigger things in life than sports.

Mike Hamilton did a great job of raising funds and helping keep the facilities at UT top tier and he should be commended for that. And, it isn't his fault that Pearl made the mistakes that led to his demise.

Hamilton did make a disaster of the baseball. And, IMO, whether it was time for Phillip Fulmer to go or not, Hamilton could have handled that firing much better.

As for his comment about Kiffin being the right guy at the right time, maybe it seemed that way then...I know a lot of us, myself included, wanted it to be. But we didn't have the resources to research all things Kiffin and how he would try to change UT into the USC West.

Hamilton might have had a clue that Kiffin would bolt when he had the escape clause in his contract that would allow him to go to Southern Cal.

But again, none of these things are reasons for the threats made against Mike Hamilton.

How do you know it was fans that threatened him?
I can only assume you are refering to University of Tennessee fans?

nwcs writes:

I don't know Hamilton personally but it's a sad statement when people feel the need to threaten someone over sports. Doesn't matter if it was Kiffin, Hamilton, or any number of other public figures. I love TN sports, too, but it's still JUST A GAME. People wrap up too much of their identity in it to make up for the lack of anything meaningful in their lives.

But I will say this, regardless of his work performance, what I know of Hamilton personally is that he is a top notch man and very genuine. More people should be like him personally.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Death threats to Crompton, death threats to Hamilton....DAAAANG! Come on folks.

AtlantaTide writes:

in response to CCLC:

Did some Bama fans slip into some orange camo?
just sayin'

Latest example on why it is unwise to cast stones at other fan bases.

We (college football fans) all live in glass houses.

murrayvol writes:

This is sad indeed.

Reminds us that fan is derived from fanatic.

I wish the very best for Mike and his family.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to AtlantaTide:

Latest example on why it is unwise to cast stones at other fan bases.

We (college football fans) all live in glass houses.

This may have been a select FEW so-called Vol fans doing this stupid stuff. Let us NOT confuse anyone.

The Vols fringe is maybe 1/10 of 1% of the fanbase whereas 99.9% of the Bammer Moron Nation IS the lunatic fringe. The Bammer Morons are either tossing bricks throught their coaches windows, poisoning trees, shooting someone or tea-bagging a passed out schmuck.

Instead of trolling here and offering your (completely UNSOLICITED) opinion, why aren't you at Walmart with the rest of the Bammer Morons lovingly fondling and having your picture taken with the crystal football?

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to Central_IL_Vol:

This may have been a select FEW so-called Vol fans doing this stupid stuff. Let us NOT confuse anyone.

The Vols fringe is maybe 1/10 of 1% of the fanbase whereas 99.9% of the Bammer Moron Nation IS the lunatic fringe. The Bammer Morons are either tossing bricks throught their coaches windows, poisoning trees, shooting someone or tea-bagging a passed out schmuck.

Instead of trolling here and offering your (completely UNSOLICITED) opinion, why aren't you at Walmart with the rest of the Bammer Morons lovingly fondling and having your picture taken with the crystal football?

Very Good.
Again how do we know it was U.T. fans?

LJS1984 writes:

in response to AtlantaTide:

Latest example on why it is unwise to cast stones at other fan bases.

We (college football fans) all live in glass houses.

Just some fans like to poison trees and the water table, and teabag drunk kids and name their children Bear, and Crimson Tyde and then show up at the town Walmart to see trophies and pep rallies. Which National Championship tribute tat are you working on at the moment Atlanta Tide? Oh wait, maybe all of your Bama inspired tats are of legendary coaches? Sorry, but it's pretty easy to cast stones at the morons down there in Alabammer. You guys bring it on yourselves.

volfast40time writes:

im a vol fan but its hard for me to believe some people make fun of bama when they've won 2 championships in 3 years. as far as red-necks go we have almost as many as they do.

born2ride writes:

We can all thank Mike Hamilton for leaving us with Dooley and Martin.

Tennessee_Tod writes:

Old story brought up again to slander Tennessee.

With that said, death threats for sports is ridiculous and does illustrate a direction our society is going. But I also think it is a product of the internet and the anonymity that people think they have. These people would never say a lot of the things they say on the internet to someones face and if they will not say it to someone's face then they shouldn't say it on the internet or in a text message.

allvol8 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Death threats to Crompton, death threats to Hamilton....DAAAANG! Come on folks.

Little do these idiots know Title 33 state law.. these folks can be committed to state mental health hospitals for making threats to harm others....

BR_549 writes:

in response to Central_IL_Vol:

This may have been a select FEW so-called Vol fans doing this stupid stuff. Let us NOT confuse anyone.

The Vols fringe is maybe 1/10 of 1% of the fanbase whereas 99.9% of the Bammer Moron Nation IS the lunatic fringe. The Bammer Morons are either tossing bricks throught their coaches windows, poisoning trees, shooting someone or tea-bagging a passed out schmuck.

Instead of trolling here and offering your (completely UNSOLICITED) opinion, why aren't you at Walmart with the rest of the Bammer Morons lovingly fondling and having your picture taken with the crystal football?

"Tea-bagging a passed out schmuck!" Too funny. Maybe this is the 99% and 1% the Occupy protestors are about...

Vo2Vol writes:

Mike Hamilton was a good man and certainly did not deserve this type of behavior. The people that do that are absolute jerks.

FWBVol writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

How do you know it was fans that threatened him?
I can only assume you are refering to University of Tennessee fans?

I don't know beyond a shadow of a doubt that fans did threaten him, but all you have to do is see a few remarks made by so-called fans on this board about Hamilton and it isn't hard to come to that conclusion.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to LJS1984:

Just some fans like to poison trees and the water table, and teabag drunk kids and name their children Bear, and Crimson Tyde and then show up at the town Walmart to see trophies and pep rallies. Which National Championship tribute tat are you working on at the moment Atlanta Tide? Oh wait, maybe all of your Bama inspired tats are of legendary coaches? Sorry, but it's pretty easy to cast stones at the morons down there in Alabammer. You guys bring it on yourselves.

TOTALLY AGREE!

tennrich1 writes:

Not reading any replies but what shamefulness there is in some pervert that would threaten Mike or his family OVER SPORTS...I still feel bad for Mike and while I'm at it I will throw J.Crompton in as well...the way some people acted was absolutely disgusting...Mike, hope you find peace and joy being in Gods will.

UTKin1992 writes:

A pointless, pitiful last shot at UT before he fouls-up the non-profit he's in charge of. I feel sorry for anyone who benefits from this charity because he WILL find a way to mismanage it into oblivion. Stop featuring stories on this self-righteous yokel!

newtonrail writes:

Mike Hamilton is apparently a good Christian man. There is no point in rehashing what he did right or wrong during his tenure, but he needed to go. On the way out, he extorted money and benefits from Jimmy Cheek. 3 years pay, lifetime health benefits, and FB and BB tickets and parking passes for life for 8 years as AD is ridiculous. Christian or not, he should be ashamed. But in the end no one, or no entity should have verbally threatened him or his family. People are far too used to hiding behind screen names on message boards and talk radio. I guess they can carry it over into whatever format they used to threaten Mike, and that's as wrong as anything he ever did.

RockVegas writes:

in response to volfast40time:

im a vol fan but its hard for me to believe some people make fun of bama when they've won 2 championships in 3 years. as far as red-necks go we have almost as many as they do.

I like that.2 out of 3,not bad at all....GBO.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to born2ride:

We can all thank Mike Hamilton for leaving us with Dooley and Martin.

Several years ago, Chris Fowler referred to UT fan's "trailer park mentality". We can all thank "fans" like you and incidents like these threats, and the ones to Randy Sanders for inspiring him.

rocky_topper writes:

Mr Hamilton, glad you are gone. Please don't ever come back to even visit! I feel sorry for the organization that you are involved with.

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to utalum04:

Classy

Correct

BR_549 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So how did you get your mind off your infatuation with Snakeplissken's posts long enough to respond to me. Central IL Vol Fan posted that comment, I just thought it was funny. What now, you taking up for the LSU schmuck?

eVOLved writes:

well, him stopping by before the Vandy game actually puts the loss into perspective.

tennisee7 writes:

In response to PHAT_VOL

"How do you know it was fans that threatened him?
I can only assume you are refering to University of Tennessee fans?"

"Very Good.
Again how do we know it was U.T. fans?"

We don't. However, it's really very unlikely for it to have been anyone else. Think about it. What's the motivation for an Alabama fan to harass an AD of a team that was losing at the time? It would have been one thing for a BAMA fan to harass Doug Dickey, but not Hamilton. So you're right. We don't know it was a UT fan, but let me give an example of just how "classy" some of our fans can be.

I am by all means a die-hard UT fan. I have been since birth. While attending the University, I began tutoring a few of the athletes. One in particular was a quarterback, whom I'm sure you all remember. One night, after a night in the library studying, he offered to give me a ride across campus to my car. This was in 2009 when he was struggling, to say the least. When we arrived to his car however, the tires had been slashed and several vulgarities had been written on the windows. Now by all means, that could have just as well "not been a UT fan." But that would involve and opposing school's fan to have stalked this particular QB, figured out what kind of car he drove, and waited until he was away from it to do such an act of stupidity and hatred. Highly unlikely.

We, along with any other SEC team, are guilty of going a bit overboard when it comes to Saturdays in the Fall. I'm embarrassed to think of fellow fans going so far that Hamilton and his family felt threatened, and I'm embarrassed for whoever vandalized the car. It's a great feeling when we're the best in the SEC, and it's sickening when we're not. But come on. We're giving ourselves a TERRIBLE name lately in media around the South. From the mess of Kiffin to football players holding up gas stations at gunpoint, we're really losing the point of being true VOLUNTEERS.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I didn't think the video or act in itself was a bit funny. If I had been the passed-out LSU dude and came to during the event, The Bammer Moron would have been on his way to the hospital with some rather serious injuries.

The basis of my humor is not directed to the victim, but to the idiocy that is the Bammer Moron Nation. This, the tree poisoning, the shooter, etc...!

That bunch just makes it too easy!

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to BR_549:

So how did you get your mind off your infatuation with Snakeplissken's posts long enough to respond to me. Central IL Vol Fan posted that comment, I just thought it was funny. What now, you taking up for the LSU schmuck?

BTW, does anyone other than the screen name owner and myself know what BR-549 is?

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I think it's ashame that fans would threaten Hamilton and his family offer the things that happened in the athletic department. We have to get a grip on things and realize there are bigger things in life than sports.

Mike Hamilton did a great job of raising funds and helping keep the facilities at UT top tier and he should be commended for that. And, it isn't his fault that Pearl made the mistakes that led to his demise.

Hamilton did make a disaster of the baseball. And, IMO, whether it was time for Phillip Fulmer to go or not, Hamilton could have handled that firing much better.

As for his comment about Kiffin being the right guy at the right time, maybe it seemed that way then...I know a lot of us, myself included, wanted it to be. But we didn't have the resources to research all things Kiffin and how he would try to change UT into the USC West.

Hamilton might have had a clue that Kiffin would bolt when he had the escape clause in his contract that would allow him to go to Southern Cal.

But again, none of these things are reasons for the threats made against Mike Hamilton.

FWBVol, you said exactly what I was thinking, and said it very well! I may disagree with the way some things happened on the hill, but you're right, there are MUCH bigger things in life than sports, as much as we love them and all things Vols. But to make threats to a man and his family over sports is totally beyond the pale. We indeed need to get a grip!

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

BR_549 writes:

in response to Central_IL_Vol:

BTW, does anyone other than the screen name owner and myself know what BR-549 is?

I think everyone knows it was Jr. Samples phone number on Hee Haw in Kornfield County, back in the day. There are enough references to it in hate spewed comments received. I was going to be VFLifer but it was taken.

VOLliven2it writes:

Sorry about the poor excuses for human beings who would threaten anyone. That is ridiculous and pathetic. But with all respect to Mike Hamilton, who is a good person, it was more likely mishandling a number of things which caused him to leave. I wish him well and am embarrassed he would fear for himself or his family. I am not, however, displeased he has moved onto something else. GO VOLS!

BR_549 writes:

in response to Central_IL_Vol:

I didn't think the video or act in itself was a bit funny. If I had been the passed-out LSU dude and came to during the event, The Bammer Moron would have been on his way to the hospital with some rather serious injuries.

The basis of my humor is not directed to the victim, but to the idiocy that is the Bammer Moron Nation. This, the tree poisoning, the shooter, etc...!

That bunch just makes it too easy!

My comment was based towards you calling the LSU fan a "schmuck". After seeing the way he was passed out on that Krystal table in his purple attire you were entirely correct. No way was I condoning the Bammer fool's action. What was even more sickening was the way he (bama fan) walked around with his "little" junk hanging out when it was over.

SevenT writes:

Hammy was handed the keys to a Cadillac and when he cleaned out his desk he left the keys to a Yugo.

Not only was he a horrible AD he is a complete wimp for crying about getting a threat from some UT fan. Just about every single person in a high profile job has enemies and receives a threat from time to time. Grow a pair Hammy

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to BR_549:

I think everyone knows it was Jr. Samples phone number on Hee Haw in Kornfield County, back in the day. There are enough references to it in hate spewed comments received. I was going to be VFLifer but it was taken.

I loved Hee Haw and Jr. Samples!

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to BR_549:

My comment was based towards you calling the LSU fan a "schmuck". After seeing the way he was passed out on that Krystal table in his purple attire you were entirely correct. No way was I condoning the Bammer fool's action. What was even more sickening was the way he (bama fan) walked around with his "little" junk hanging out when it was over.

What was really troubling about the video was all of the Bammer fans in the background and the one who was doing the recording. None of them tried to stop or, at least, discourage this Bammer FOOL from his actions. This is indicitive of the Bammer Moron Nation and how little class it has!

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I think it's ashame that fans would threaten Hamilton and his family offer the things that happened in the athletic department. We have to get a grip on things and realize there are bigger things in life than sports.

Mike Hamilton did a great job of raising funds and helping keep the facilities at UT top tier and he should be commended for that. And, it isn't his fault that Pearl made the mistakes that led to his demise.

Hamilton did make a disaster of the baseball. And, IMO, whether it was time for Phillip Fulmer to go or not, Hamilton could have handled that firing much better.

As for his comment about Kiffin being the right guy at the right time, maybe it seemed that way then...I know a lot of us, myself included, wanted it to be. But we didn't have the resources to research all things Kiffin and how he would try to change UT into the USC West.

Hamilton might have had a clue that Kiffin would bolt when he had the escape clause in his contract that would allow him to go to Southern Cal.

But again, none of these things are reasons for the threats made against Mike Hamilton.

That would be USC East.

BR_549 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We are in agreement for a change.

bigsteve92 writes:

no one should ever receive threats over a job. what if ever job you did bad at people sent you death threat. you wouldnt like it to much. get a life

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to bigsteve92:

no one should ever receive threats over a job. what if ever job you did bad at people sent you death threat. you wouldnt like it to much. get a life

Someone ought to send a death threat to your English teacher.

stratocaster54 writes:

Threats are ridiculous and I'm glad nothing happened. He seems like a well intentioned human being... But at the same time, it's hard to feel sorry for Mike. He may have been a great fund raiser, but that was under Dickey as an assistant and then he was promoted to his level of incompetence (see “Peter Principle”).

"Difficult" is what most of us would experience if we had managed our jobs so poorly. We would have been fired w/o a huge self-granted severance package and not on our timeline.

Still, I wish him and his 47 (I might have overstated that) adopted kids we grads and parents of current students pay for the best of luck!

Reflections writes:

in response to Central_IL_Vol:

What was really troubling about the video was all of the Bammer fans in the background and the one who was doing the recording. None of them tried to stop or, at least, discourage this Bammer FOOL from his actions. This is indicitive of the Bammer Moron Nation and how little class it has!

What's really troubling are your incessant attempts to deflect the conversation. I am a UT graduate and have been a fan since the early 1960s. Also, have lived in Alabama for almost 40 years. Yes, there are some low class fans here and it all gets pretty old. But there is NO excuse for threats to Hamilton, Crompton or anybody else regardless of what you think about their performance. Talk about a lack of perspective. Some folks need to get a life! Letting what a bunch of 20 year olds do or don't do with a ball on Saturdays affect you to that extent is beyond pathetic!
You can take any of these folks and Harvey Updyke, put them in tow sack and roll them down the Hill and have a sorry excuse for a human being on top all the way down.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to tennisee7:

In response to PHAT_VOL

"How do you know it was fans that threatened him?
I can only assume you are refering to University of Tennessee fans?"

"Very Good.
Again how do we know it was U.T. fans?"

We don't. However, it's really very unlikely for it to have been anyone else. Think about it. What's the motivation for an Alabama fan to harass an AD of a team that was losing at the time? It would have been one thing for a BAMA fan to harass Doug Dickey, but not Hamilton. So you're right. We don't know it was a UT fan, but let me give an example of just how "classy" some of our fans can be.

I am by all means a die-hard UT fan. I have been since birth. While attending the University, I began tutoring a few of the athletes. One in particular was a quarterback, whom I'm sure you all remember. One night, after a night in the library studying, he offered to give me a ride across campus to my car. This was in 2009 when he was struggling, to say the least. When we arrived to his car however, the tires had been slashed and several vulgarities had been written on the windows. Now by all means, that could have just as well "not been a UT fan." But that would involve and opposing school's fan to have stalked this particular QB, figured out what kind of car he drove, and waited until he was away from it to do such an act of stupidity and hatred. Highly unlikely.

We, along with any other SEC team, are guilty of going a bit overboard when it comes to Saturdays in the Fall. I'm embarrassed to think of fellow fans going so far that Hamilton and his family felt threatened, and I'm embarrassed for whoever vandalized the car. It's a great feeling when we're the best in the SEC, and it's sickening when we're not. But come on. We're giving ourselves a TERRIBLE name lately in media around the South. From the mess of Kiffin to football players holding up gas stations at gunpoint, we're really losing the point of being true VOLUNTEERS.

My posts were to provoke. I like what you had to say and agree with it totally. We need to do a better job as fans of positive surport. Death threats are no laughing matter.
I too have been a Vol fan all my life. I remember QB Alan Cockrell having a chair thrown at him during his exit from a game at Neyland stadium. This kind of action is deplorable. You're right there is no better feeling than winning. OH to have that feeling return this fall!

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