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Report: Tennessee athletics over $200 million in debt

8:37 AM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
Tennessee Volunteers players enter the field prior to the game against the Florida Gators at Neyland Stadium. Florida defeated Tennessee 37-20. (Photo: Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports)
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All is not well in the land of the Sunsphere.

A report in SportsBusiness Journal paints a dire picture of one of the biggest college athletics programs, the SEC's Tennessee Volunteers:

"The Vols find themselves mired in more than $200 million of debt, the most in the SEC, with reserves of just $1.95 million, the least in the conference."

The department's debt is a combination of a drop in attendance (can you remember the last big Tennessee football win?), poorly timed facility upgrades and the buyouts of coaching contracts, according to the story.

Athletics director Dave Hart is charged with digging the program out of this hole, but he is going to need some help from this football team.

Hart has said he has faith in football coach Butch Jones, who will aim to end the skid Tennessee has been on since Phillip Fullmer left, to fill Neyland Stadium again. Achieving a winning record and not suddenly bolting for USC would certainly be a step in the right direction

Read the full report.

Justin L. Abrotsky, USA TODAY Sports

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