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Tennessee cheerleading coach on paid administrative leave

July 3, 2018

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee spirit coordinator Joy Postell-Gee is on paid administrative leave as the school reviews complaints she engaged in “inappropriate conduct and unsatisfactory work-related behavior.”

Senior associate athletics director Donna Thomas sent a letter to Postell-Gee last week announcing the investigation. Postell-Gee isn’t authorized to perform any university duties, contact students or visit campus while on leave.

Thomas’ letter doesn’t specify the nature of the complaints, but Postell-Gee’s personnel file shows a 2017 report from the Office of Equity and Diversity indicates she made “several instances of racially and ethnically insensitive remarks” to school spirit squad members.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel first reported the complaints.

Postell-Gee received a final written warning Jan 29. She went on paid administrative leave earlier this year but was reinstated June 8. She’s now back on leave.

Postell-Gee’s personnel file includes a February letter in which she agreed that “this is a beyond serious matter” and added that she’s “seeking your guidance and expertise as to what constitutes being verbally and mentally harassed, demeaning and insensitive comments and mistreatment.”

In the February letter, Postell-Gee expressed concern that allegations had “apparently been accepted at face value.” She referred to herself as a “very dedicated and loyal employee of 25 years.”

Postell-Gee was hired as cheerleading coach in 1992. Her responsibilities as coordinator of Tennessee’s spirit squad include overseeing the year-round activities of the school’s cheerleaders, dance team members, mascots and spring sports ambassadors.

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