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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee has signed two-year contracts with the UT-Knoxville athletic directors that include a provision for extensions of an additional six months.

The contracts with Doug Dickey and Joan Cronan run through June 30, 2000, UT President Joe Johnson said Monday.

Salaries for Dickey and Cronan remain at their current levels and will be reviewed annually as they have been in the past, Johnson said. The contracts are the first for UT athletics directors.

”Most major universities have contracts with their athletics directors,” Johnson said. ”We are following what other institutions are doing.

”We are fortunate to have in Joan and Doug, two of the finest athletics directors in the country.”

Dickey has a $136,192 base salary, $50,000 additional compensation for promotion and marketing services, and a $10,000 expense allowance. Cronan’s current salary is $95,392, plus a $2,500 expense account.

Should UT elect to ”buy out” either contract, the university would pay only the annual salary times the number of years remaining in the agreement.

The documents set forth the duties and responsibilities of the athletics directors. Among those are complying with all UT, Southeastern Conference and NCAA rules; providing academic counseling to student athletes; generating fan interest and private gifts; and serving as official spokespersons for their respective departments.

Cronan and Dickey agree that outside promotion and public relations agreements must be approved in advance by the president of the university and that they will not endorse or promote any products, merchandise or services without prior approval.

They may serve on corporate boards or enter into personal service contracts for motivational talks if these do not interfere with university duties, the contracts say.