I could be wrong, but during his time at Vanderbilt he eliminated some admin positions in sports. Like the AD.
Actually, what they did in 2003 was put varsity sports basically as another "department" or college which legally allowed Vanderbilt athletics to use some of the University's vast endowment money. Vandy had and still has a "National Commodore Club" , like TAF, but if you view it as an electoral college, LSU's TAF is Texas and Vandy's NCC is one of the Dakota's.
Since this was implemented, Vandy has made two Sweet 16s, won the SEC basketball tournament, made three bowls, been the overall #1 seed in baseball and made the CWS.
Pretty good results for a team without "an athletic department."