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Tennessee Gov. Haslam says Vols must fill Neyland

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- Whether wearing the hat of Tennessee governor or the hat of a longtime University of Tennessee football follower, Bill Haslam recognizes that the Volunteers can't experience too much more of the same.

"They can't be average, and you hate to say it that way, but financially it just doesn't work," Haslam said Thursday afternoon. "They have to fill that stadium up. They get the benefit of being a part of the SEC and all the TV money that comes with that, but at the end of the day, if they can't fill that stadium up and sell concessions, then not just the football program but all the other sports that benefit from a strong football program suffer."

The Volunteers, who not long ago racked up 10-win seasons and New Year's Day bowl invitations with great regularity, are just 28-34 the past five years and 12-28 in league play. Tennessee has its fourth head coach since 2008, and a report this week in the SportsBusiness Journal detailed the athletic department's financial woes.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.


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