September 2nd, 2014

Tennessee Is Seeing Red

by ZachBingham

Maybe the Tennessee Volunteers need to go through Dave Ramsey’s ‘Financial Peace University’.

Sorry, had to.

A recent story from the Sports Business Journal revealed some interesting news regarding the financial books on Rocky Top.

Smith's report shows that the Vols are $200 million is debt and the athletic department spends $21 million per year in debt payments.

And making up that $21 million, $13.5 million of it comes from the school’s stressed $99.5 million athletic budget and the rest from donations.

It could be attributed to the Vols fall from grace in attendance.

Take a look at the nose dive the Big Orange has had since 2000. 

New athletic director Dave Hart, who recently hired former Cincinatti head coach Butch Jones to lead the Vols football program, had no idea about the situation that Tennessee was in financially. 

“Our financial position was probably the biggest surprise of the assessment,” Hart said. “We’ve got to be better stewards of our finances.” 

Former AD Mike Hamilton basically put the red ink to the page, accruing $11.4 million in buyouts to football, basketball, and baseball coaches, not to mention administrators and a $1.335 million buyout for himself.

Here was Dooley's buyout clause in his contract.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic 

Most, if not all, of Universities fund their athletic program with football ticket revenue. You get a certain number of games to gather as much as you can and with a losing football team, that can be hard.

UT hasn’t been above .500 in four out of the last five years and from 2006-2010, $130 million was spent to renovate and expand Neyland stadium.

Now the Vols have more seats with less people in them.

So it's all on the shoulders of new head coach Butch Jones to solve this equation.

A good football team + 105,000 seat stadium = $$$$$$$$$$$

Sports Night talked to Michael Smith yesterday night about the Vols money issues. 

Follow Zach on Twitter @Bada_Bingham



Photo and info courtesy of Sports Business Journal

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