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UT: No more funding aid for sports

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Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, right, gives a helmet to new football head coach Butch Jones. Photo by Adam Brimer/News Sentinel Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, right, gives a helmet to new football head coach Butch Jones. Photo by Adam Brimer/News Sentinel

KNOXVILLE, TN (News Sentinel) -- No academic funding or state money will be used to bail out the University of Tennessee athletics department should sagging ticket sales and the cost of a multimillion-dollar coaching change cause another budget deficit, officials said Wednesday.

"We've made a strong statement that we're not using state funds to backfill athletics," said Chris Cimino, vice chancellor of finance. "We've done all we're going to do."

Last month, the school announced a three-year, $18 million reprieve in donations the athletics department makes to student scholarships, fellowships and discretionary academic funds.

In the meantime, the department is facing as much as $9.4 million to buy out former head football coach Derek Dooley and his staff, another $18.2 million over six years in salary for new coach Butch Jones, $3 million annually for new assistant football coaches and another $1.4 million to buy out Jones' contract at the University of Cincinnati. Last year, the department reported a $4 million shortfall in its nearly $100 million annual budget.

Read more from our news partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

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