UT Knoxville asks for donations to replace goalposts

Southeast

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE – OCTOBER 15: Tennessee Volunteers fans tear down the goal post after the Tennessee Volunteers defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide at Neyland Stadium on October 15, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee won the game 52-49. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — The football program at the University of Tennessee Knoxville is asking for donations to erect new goalposts ahead of their Saturday home game against the University of Tennessee at Martin.  

Their goalposts were torn down by fans Saturday evening after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide for the first time since 2006. The game was a thriller, ending 52-49, in what was a shootout between two Top 10 teams.

After successfully tearing down the extra point markers and dumping them into the Tennessee River, the school is hoping fans help buy some new ones.

“Y’all remember how we tore the goalposts down, hauled em out of Neyland and dumped em in the Tennessee River?” the school tweeted on Sunday. “Yeah that was awesome. Anywho, turns out that in order to play next week’s game, we need goalposts on our field. Could y’all help us out?”

While many will point to the school’s consolidated investment pool of over a billion dollars and question the need to fundraise at all, Danny White, the Vols Athletic Director, told ESPN they felt this was a fun way to engage the fan base and lean into the enthusiasm.

The program even got cute, making donations symbolic to the historic win.

A donor can give $16, for example, representing the number of seasons since they last beat Alabama; $52.49, the final score of the game; or even $1,019.15, a nod to the capacity of a sold out Neyland Stadium. 

An athletic department spokesperson told the Washington Post in an email that the school actually does have a replacement set of goal posts on hand, but that hasn’t stopped fans from donating.

As of 3 p.m. CT Monday, the online fund had already raised more than $150,000 from more than 24,000 donors — completing their goal.

However, the football program was fined $100,000 by the Southeastern Conference for allowing fans to storm the field, although it’s typical for the league to do.

UT’s President was caught on camera after the big win Saturday, saying the cost doesn’t matter and that they’ll “do this every year.”

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