University of Tennessee Athletics Director Mike Hamilton announced at a press conference on Tuesday that he was resigning.
Hamilton will receive $1,335,000 over the next thirty-six months, and will still appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions this weekend, to answer a number of violations. His resignation will be effective June 30, though Hamilton will only work through June 13. A UT spokesperson confirms to 10News there was some negotiation over the monetary settlement for Hamilton, but UTK Chancellor Jimmy Cheek felt it was "the right thing to do."
At the press conference, Hamilton said he had been on an interesting journey over the last 18 months, that it had been a tough time at UT, and that he took responsibility for some of those challenges that UT faced.
He said he thought "today was inevitable" within the environment that the university operated in. He acknowledged he had become a "lightning rod" for negative attention, and that was a distraction to the university.
Hamilton said he approached Chancellor Jimmy Cheek last week about resigning, after months of prayer and talking to trusted friends and family. He said he thought it was important for the university to have a "clean slate."
Cheek said he was sorry to see Hamilton go, and that he was happy with the job that Hamilton was doing. He said UT had been very successful under Hamilton's leadership, and that the legacy of all he'd accomplished would live on forever.
Hamilton said that he felt UT had a bright future. He knows that Coach Dooley and Coach Martin will be successful, and he asks the fans to rally around all the coaches and teams, and support the new Athletics Director.
Hamilton said he wanted peace for UT, that the university was too great not to have peace. He ended his prepared statement with a familiar phrase, "Go Vols."
Cheek, who stressed that Hamilton was not forced out, said the search for a new Athletic Director will begin immediately. They will form a committee to help with a nationwide search. He hopes to have a new A.D. by the start of football season. An interim A.D. will hopefully be announced by the end of the week. Cheek did not mention any particular person that they hoped to approach.
Cheek said they are looking for someone to bring leadership, both internally and externally, and to take the university to the next level. He stressed the university needed stability and someone to build on the strong foundations at UT.
Volunteers head football coach Derek Dooley released the following statement about Hamilton's resignation: "I will always be grateful for the opportunity Mike gave me to be the head football coach at Tennessee. The tremendous support he provided our staff and program has allowed us to set a strong foundation for the future of Tennessee football."
Update 9:55 am
UT Men's Athletics Department Spokesman Jimmy Stanton confirms that Director Mike Hamilton will be on hand at an 11:00 am news conference to announce his resignation. You can watch that press conference live on WBIR-TV and on WBIR.com.
Stanton also said Hamilton will be traveling to Indianapolis for the NCAA hearings.
10News has learned that the University of Tennessee will hold a news conference at 11:00 am to announce the resignation of Men's Athletics Director Mike Hamilton.
Hamilton joined the athletic department in 1992. He has been the Men's Athletics Director since 2003.
In recent years, Hamilton has executed controversial hirings and firings including the firing of football coach Philip Fulmer and the hiring of his replacement Lane Kiffin.
Under his watch, popular basketball coach Bruce Pearl built a program up and then left in a cloud of numerous NCAA violations.
This is in advance of the NCAA hearings this month concerning the recent basketball and football violations.
Stay with 10News and WBIR.com throughout the day for the latest on this developing story.