Tennessee opted against Hart extension before his retirement

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee had opted against giving athletic director Dave Hart a contract extension with a raise before he announced his retirement, according to documents obtained in a public records request.

In an Aug. 10 email, University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro told Chancellor Jimmy Cheek “for the reasons we have discussed concerning what is in the best interests of the University, including the fact that a new Chancellor will assume office within the next year, I agree with your decision not to extend Mr. Hart’s contract for two years with increased compensation.”

Hart announced Aug. 18 he was retiring effective June 30, in part to allow Cheek’s replacement to select a new athletic director. Cheek announced in June he was stepping down.

Hart’s contract was set to expire Sept. 20, 2018.