Truth & Rumors > NCAA

Vols under staggering $200M debt

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08:11 AM ET 01.29 | Appropriately, Neyland Stadium dominates the view from Dave Hart's office at the University of Tennessee. Its enormity is a testament to the sport's incredible growth during the past two decades and the power of the Tennessee brand. It also effectively conceals an athletic department that built enormous debt while trying to maintain its place among the richest and most powerful football programs in the [SEC]. ... [The] Vols find themselves mired in more than $200 million of debt, the most in the SEC, with reserves of just $1.95 million, the least in the conference. The athletic department spends a startling $21 million a year on debt payments, $13.5 million of which comes from the school's stressed $99.5 million athletic budget and the rest from donations.

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Vols fan, Getty Images Vols fan, Getty Images
January 29, 2013  08:33 AM ET

All those cash payouts to recruits has begun to take its toll.

January 29, 2013  08:36 AM ET

Whomever has been running the Athletic Dept should go to Washington-would fit right in with the other clowns in running up debt.

Comment #3 has been removed
January 29, 2013  09:43 AM ET

Someone needs to examine the people running the numbers side. Someone has done a great disservice to the University of Lucifer... oops meant Tennessee.

January 29, 2013  10:21 AM ET

As the father of a grad of the UF, words cannot express how this saddens me. Maybe they will do the SEC and D1 football a favor and close down the program.
Good old Rocky Top my asset.

January 29, 2013  10:30 AM ET

Crooks running this program are no different that the politicians screwing us every day. They just think they can raise ticket prices and tuition costs and it will cover up their mis spending.

January 29, 2013  10:33 AM ET

imagine if they paid their players...at least I hope they don't, not for the junk they've been putting in the field lately.

January 29, 2013  11:02 AM ET

I wish Mr. Hart well as he attempts to rescue an athletic department that has borrowed it's way into this mess. $7.5 million from doners to help pay-off the debt each year? That cannot go over very well with the UTk faithful.

January 29, 2013  11:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

No joke. Maryland racks up huge debt? Understandable, it's effin Maryland. But UTk? A member of the pantheon of CFB powers? What the hell...

...and the report also shows that UTk is only 3rd in sec debt, Bama and LSU are both over $200MM

Comment #10 has been removed
January 29, 2013  11:08 AM ET

C'mon wheres Peyton, Have him show up and host a few keggers on the field , get the cheer squad to do lap dances. Get stars from 'Moonshiners' as special guests with some juice to auction off.

January 29, 2013  11:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Jesus...And people wonder why they'll never compensate college athletes...

here's a summary I found...

http://tinyurl.com/atd3nr2

January 29, 2013  11:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I wish Mr. Hart well as he attempts to rescue an athletic department that has borrowed it's way into this mess. $7.5 million from doners to help pay-off the debt each year? That cannot go over very well with the UTk faithful.

Maybe they can play a couple of games on LHN to get some extra cash

January 29, 2013  11:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Maybe they can play a couple of games on LHN to get some extra cash

Thanks for sharing the link. I personally find this stuff fascinating. As a long time follower/sufferer of MSU athletics, I know how important it is to have great leadership in the AD's office. We all complain about CFB being just about the money, but it's clear from these reports, that there is a good reason for that to be true.

Comment #15 has been removed
January 29, 2013  11:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

...and the report also shows that UTk is only 3rd in sec debt, Bama and LSU are both over $200MM

We may have a lot of debt, but even when we were down, we still made money.

January 29, 2013  11:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

We may have a lot of debt, but even when we were down, we still made money.

After about 5 years of mediocre results, the income stream dwindled at UTk. Bama should be able to ride the success to pay off a lot of their debt, which I understand is mainly the most recent BD expansion, and the support usually stays if times get bad.

That's the big deference between the really big programs, they make money if bad times show up.

January 29, 2013  12:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Someone needs to examine the people running the numbers side. Someone has done a great disservice to the University of Lucifer... oops meant Tennessee.

So, in secret covens, Saban lectures the Bama faithful on how to mask the indwelling by casting aspersions upon the righteous and accusing them of Satanic colusion. With your every post, you confirm the damnation of your soul and all who follow Lucifer's Vessel. As you willingly make this pact, I afford you no sympathy. For fleeting earthly glory, you will burn for all eternity.

Comment #19 has been removed
 
January 29, 2013  12:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Whomever has been running the Athletic Dept should go to Washington-would fit right in with the other clowns in running up debt.

Some of the debt was accumulated with the expansions to Neyland Stadium. However, it was Hamilton who pressed forward several facilities upgrade projects, substantially increasing the debt while simultaneously engineering the collapse of the UTK football program and the revenue stream needed to meet all obligations. The decline which he brought about was many times more severe than the concurrent decline in the US economy.

Any of FN's crowing ne'erdowells wishing to thank Hamilton for his "service" will find him fundraising for charity from an office in Nashville. May your teams' fortunes be even more severly blighted to reward your "character."

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