UT dips into reserves to maintain sports-funded scholarships - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UT dips into reserves to maintain sports-funded scholarships

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KNOXVILLE, TN (WBIR) - University of Tennessee football fans hope the Volunteers are back on track under new Head Coach Butch Jones.

The school had to pay millions of dollars to fire former head coach Derek Dooley and hire Jones as the new gridiron gaffer, not to mention the ongoing payments after firing head coach Phil Fulmer.

The Vols' carousel of coaches eroded the sports budget and had "Big Orange Country" running in the red. Last year Chancellor Jimmy Cheek helped balance the sports budget by giving the athletic department a three-year break from its annual pledge of $6 million to academics.

The annual donations were promised by the athletic department as it proudly shared the wealth of big-time college sports with academic programs.

"I think the perception was we were in great shape financially. The reality was we were not. That we had to make some adjustments," said Dave Hart in an interview with WBIR in December 2012.

Read more from our NBC news partner WBIR.

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