Nice FOI-driven sports story…Tennessee’s AD Gets Peppered by Donor E-Mails…

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 11:  Head coach Bruce Pear...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Note to journalists everywhere: sometimes you don’t need names to tell a great FOI tale….

A six-figure University of Tennessee donor called the school’s chancellor an “attack gator” because of his ties to the University of Florida and another called its athletic director “self-serving” and “inept.”

Those comments were among more than a dozen email messages received by university administrators from high-level donors that contained name-calling and threats to pull donations in the run-up to the March 21 firing of former men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl over NCAA rules violations.

One donor sent a one-line email from his iPhone to Mike Hamilton the day after the athletic director hinted at a coaching change during a March 16 radio interview: “What the hell were you thinking?”

“Bad decision,” Hamilton replied. “Previously scheduled interview on different topics, should have canceled.”

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