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Aside from the obvious mismanagement of the athletic department at many levels for the last several years, it should be pointed out that the University of Tennessee athletic department has given millions of dollars to the academic side of the university that is something very few athletic programs in the nation do.
Yes, the athletic budget has suffered from having to pay off fired coaches and empty seats in Neyland, but if since 2006 the AD would have given half as much to the academic side, there would be roughly a $15-18 million surplus in the athletic department bank account.
Yes, the general fund of the university will miss the $18 million that the athletic department would have given in the next three years. And the university will have to find a way ot replace it. The solution might even cost the tax payers some money so indirectly you could argue that the athletic department is using state money.
This is not a perfect solution, but it's only temporary. The fact is donors give to the departments and organizations of their choice at the university.
The big thing is to get the AD financially healthy again so it can again give back to the general funds of the university.
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