Gary Sousa, UT’s Pride of the Southland Marching Band Director, Placed on Admin Leave

October 14, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Gary Sousa, the director of bands of the Pride of the Southland Band at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been placed on administrative leave.

Sousa will be on leave for the remainder of the fall semester, the university said, citing cited insubordination, misrepresentation of facts, and a lack of confidence in Sousa’s ability to work constructively and collaboratively with others going forward.

Specifically, Sousa was making misleading claims to alumni and band members, according to the university.

“Sousa encouraged students and alumni to speak out against the Athletics Department over reduced playing time and reductions in travel and budget,” the university said. “This followed the UT vs. Georgia game in which the band played significantly more than in this year’s previous home games.”

Provost Susan Martin said in a letter to Sousa that “Competition for resources and conflict between competing interests within the university are normal. Your actions to circumvent the normal methods of conflict resolution are shockingly insubordinate.”

Souas has been director of bands and professor of music since 1997. 

Don Ryder will serve as interim director of bands for the remainder of the season.

The administrative leave is pending a full review. 

Chancellor Jimmy Cheek told band members on Monday afternoon.



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