Science

University of Tennessee asks for donations after fans ripped off goalposts

College football fans stormed the grounds of Neyland Stadium in Tennessee and smashed a goalpost after the University of Tennessee defeated the University of Alabama last weekend. Now the school’s athletics department is asking for donations to replace a goal post.

A private foundation in the UT created a web page where anyone can give, with around 2,100 people donating so far. As of Monday, Tennessee volunteers had raised about $83,000 out of a target amount of $150,000.

“We thought this was a fun way to invite Wall Nation to continue in the festivities,” UT Athletic Director Danny White said in a statement. “We heard before and during the game that fans would support a celebration no matter what the cost, so we leaned into that excitement.”

Goalposts cost between $10,000 and $20,000, excluding installation costs. The university also faces additional costs to fix the area. UT Athletics spokesman Tom Satkowiak told CBS MoneyWatch: “Following Saturday’s field festival, the turf needs additional repairs beyond the goalposts such as the turf.”

Tennessee had lost to Alabama 15 times in a row and had not beaten it since 2006. After the game, fans took a goalpost and threw it into the Tennessee River in Knoxville.

CBS Sports reported that the school has been fined $100,000 by the Southeastern Conference for allowing fans to run on the field. It is the second offense for UTโ€”the students also run on the basketball court in 2006, after a win over the University of Florida. According to SEC rules, such a one-third penalty would cost UT$250,000.

In 2021, the UT athletics department generated $133 million in revenue, with football accounting for $62.4 million, according to financial data submitted by the university to the NCAA.

This past weekend marked the first time UT had breached its goalpost since 1998, when volunteers harassed the University of Florida. Following that incident, the Tennessee school purchased backup goalposts and will now use them to replace the goalposts broken last weekend. The money generated from the fundraising campaign will pay for the new replacement goalposts, Satkowiak said.

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