As first broken by Knoxville's WBIR and since confirmed by others, Tennessee men's athletics director Mike Hamilton has resigned. A press conference is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times here: I have no idea how Hamilton kept his job even this long. He's the one who pushed Phil Fulmer out the door in order to hire the woefully under-qualified Lane Kiffin. Under Hamilton's not-so-watchful eye, Kiffin committed a number of high profile albeit secondary NCAA violations and publicly picked fights with others in the conference. Plus, Bruce Pearl and his staff committed some major violations of the "should have been caught far earlier with proper controls" variety. Hamilton also led the hamfisted search for Kiffin's replacement, a process that didn't set any records for being smooth or leak-proof.
With Tennessee's NCAA hearing coming up soon, it's not a good sign to see Hamilton stepping down now. While he will still be at the hearing, his term ends officially on June 30. The theory I guess is to show that the school has cleared the slate, with the two coaches and the AD involved in the violations gone. It doesn't seem to me like that would work though. Kiffin left on his own accord, Pearl hung around until a dire image problem forced the school's hand, and Hamilton not only stayed around this long but hired Kiffin's and Pearl's replacement. Those facts don't paint a picture of proactive action. The worst-case scenario is that some as of yet unknown bad news will break when the hearing takes place, but anyone going there today is just speculating.
Hamilton did do some good in his tenure, it's important to note. UT's athletics are on sound financial footing, he was a great fundraiser, and he upgraded a lot of facilities on campus. The high profile Volunteers' men's programs have been a train wreck the past couple years though, and that's never good for an AD's job security.