Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton successfully bought out the home and away football series with the North Carolina Tarheels for the 2011-12 seasons.
This was an effort to make way for a less competitive team in an attempt to created a softer schedule for the school.
The cost of dumping the 2 games from the mildly competitive ACC school that went 20-18-0 over the last 3 seasons will cost Tennessee upwards of $750,000. Hamilton is seeking a sure win with a visit from a small team like the University of Buffalo to help pad his own schedule and add a home game which will help make back the money lost from the forfeit fee.
The estimated cost of revenue for hosting a game at Neyland Stadium is around $3 million. That’s not a bad payday but some fans see this move as a negative. Terms like ‘coward,’ ‘wimpy,’ ‘wuss,’ and ‘chicken‘ are being tossed around with opinionated articles about the move.
In reality it is just a business decision and that can be frustrating.
The Vols are in a less competitive place right now with 3 coaches in 3 years and several issues off the field including multiple arrests. The NCAA investigators loom over Neyland Stadium for a variety of reasons including the Vols Hostesses. Many fans are left wondering what type of team Tennessee will field this year.
Trimming the schedule and adding a home game against a weaker team is a disappointment that shows how much UT has dropped over the years and also how much UNC has gained. Sadly, a move like this gives rival fans and potential recruits negative press to play around with and dog the Tennessee program, something the program desperately does not need at the moment.
Personally, I think the Vols should man up and play the games but I understand that money drives the organization. It’s a shame but a harsh reality for a program in decay. If they run the program into the ground who will be left to attend the new home game against Buffalo?