Former Vols football staffer Chris Spognardi could soon find himself in a world of trouble after details from a report issued by the state comptroller’s office became public on Monday afternoon.
According to a report from David Cobb of The Chattanooga Times Free Press, Butch Jones’ former director of football operations “altered or fabricated” documentation on football travel-related expenses from Sept. 2015-Jan. 2016. Per Cobb, Spognardi plead guilty to a charge of “official misconduct” in the Knox County Criminal Court last week. He was ultimately fired by the program after being placed on administrative leave prior to the 2016 football season.
The result of the state’s investigation? More than $14,000 of missing cash from advances given to Spognardi by the Vols athletics department to handle paying for items such as team meals on road trips.
Here’s a look at some of Spognardi’s alleged transgressions that Cobb unearthed in the comptroller’s report:
- Spognardi submitted an invoice that claimed a catered team meal from a barbecue restaurant in Columbia, Mo. cost $2,721.60, but a copy of the invoice from the restaurant showed the bill was just $2,071.60 for the meal.
- Spognardi listed a $500 tip for a member of the Kentucky State Highway Patrol for a team escort in 2015, but the KSHP indicated that they did not provide escort for that game and that there was no such person by that name who worked for the organization.
- The report indicates that Spognardi either falsified or “completely fabricated” as many as six invoices, which accounted for nearly $6,000.
- Spognardi could not reconcile or return unused money from advances given for summer satellite camps.
- The Vols football operations staff reportedly directed hotel employees to “conceal or disguise” in-room expenses, which were allegedly used for the purchase of alcohol, to keep the nature of the use of university funds under wraps.
- Took as many as six months to reconcile cash advances, which was out of compliance with the university’s 30-day policy.