Tennessee fires football official who had been on paid leave

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee has fired director of football operations Chris Spognardi, who had been on paid administrative leave since August.

Athletic director Dave Hart sent a letter informing Spognardi that he was being fired for “gross misconduct” and that “this decision is based on information learned by the University’s Office of Audit and Compliance.” The letter was obtained Tuesday through a public records request.

Previous story: Tennessee Director of Football Operations placed on administrative leave

The university provided no additional details on the circumstances for Spognardi’s termination. The letter indicates Spognardi has the option of appealing through a hearing or administrative review.

Spognardi’s responsibilities included day-to-day operations of off-field football matters, such as travel. His salary was $80,800. He previously worked with Tennessee coach Butch Jones at Central Michigan and Cincinnati.

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