Knoxville (WVLT) - For the first time in the Univeristy Of Tennessee's history, students will have to pay for football tickets.
According to the Daily Beacon, Tennessee Men's Athletice Director, Mike Hamilton, announced Thursday that students will now have to pay $15 for individual game tickets or $90 for all seven home games begining next fall.
Hamilton said the student fee is needed because of increasing coaching salaries, athletic scholarships and travel fees.
The UT Athletics Department released a statement today saying:
"This was by no means an easy decision to make. During the 2009 budgeting process it became apparent to avoid a multi-million dollar budget shortfall, the athletic department would have to find new revenue. As you may know, UT Athletics budget is self generating and we are one of less than 10 athletic departments in the country that does not operate on funds from local, state or university dollars (with the exception of $1 million from student fees that goes to women's athletics)... After months of looking at our options, we decided we had to spread the increase over several areas – a $19 increase on all season tickets, raising the faculty/staff ticket prices from 50 percent of cost to 80 percent of cost and creating a paid student season ticket. These changes mirror policies at several SEC institutions."
Last season, UT was only one of three SEC schools to give free football tickets to full time students.