Kiffin to use Atlanta for recruiting

Chick-fill-A Bowl payout is $2.7 million

It's not the BCS, but a case could be made that for Tennessee it's the next best thing.

Instead of the athletic department bankrolling a high-profile week in Atlanta for coach Lane Kiffin and his staff, the Chick-fil-A Bowl is paying the Vols $2.7 million to do so.

"I can't imagine going to a better place for us,'' Kiffin said Thursday as UT officially accepted a Chick-fil-A Bowl invitation.

"From a standpoint of building our future,'' Kiffin said, "and where our program needs to go in recruiting, with so many players in Georgia and the Atlanta area we continue to see as we go on the road, this is great for us.''

Kiffin is on record that talent-rich Georgia is Tennessee's top out-of-state recruiting priority.

He has already paid for billboards to give UT a presence. He's already chartered a helicopter for a Friday night of high-school recruiting hops around Atlanta.

Now the team and staff will spend a week in Atlanta prepping for the Dec. 31 bowl game against Virginia Tech in the Georgia Dome (TV: ESPN, 7:30 p.m.).

"We have so many players from the state of Georgia and recruit so many players in Georgia, and Atlanta specifically,'' Kiffin said. "To be down there all week is huge.''

The Chick-fil-A Bowl isn't the SEC's highest non-BCS reward. That status goes to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.

Playing in the Georgia Dome on New Year's Eve, however, is in some ways a more attractive option for Tennessee.

It's an easy drive for fans.

"I think Tennessee probably set a record in how quickly they sold out their 17,000 tickets,'' bowl executive Gary Stokan said Thursday.

The UT roster includes 12 scholarship players from Georgia, most of whom are from in or near Atlanta. Four commitments for 2010 are Georgians.

"To have Eric Berry come back and play his last game in Atlanta is special as well,'' said Stokan.

After which, a smiling UT athletic director Mike Hamilton quickly interjected, "How do you know that?''

Berry hasn't announced his plans but the assumption is the All-American safety from Fairburn, Ga., will turn pro after the bowl and forego his senior season.

The television opportunity is also attractive. The Vols will play the Hokies on ESPN with no other football competition on other channels.

In terms of TV ratings, Stokan said the Chick-fil-A accounts for four of ESPN's top 15 all-time highest bowl numbers.

Assuming Virginia Tech sells its remaining tickets the game will be a sellout for the 13th consecutive year. Only the Rose and Fiesta bowls have a longer streak.

The 2006 game between Georgia and Virginia Tech held the Georgia Dome attendance record for a sporting event until last week's SEC Championship Game.

The SEC holds a four-game winning streak. In the past decade only traditional SEC upper-crust programs - LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee - have represented the conference.

After sitting home with no bowl last year and enduring the trauma of a coaching change, the players are proud to be back on the postseason stage.

"With all the change going on,'' senior linebacker Rico McCoy said, "we still thought we'd be winning.

"We didn't know what game we'd wind up in, of course. We still wanted to be playing in the biggest game (the BCS championship) but to play in this bowl game right now is a gift.

"It's a blessing. I'm happy to be in it.''

Notebook: Kiffin praised Eddie Gran for remaining in town three days this week to help UT prepare a plan for Virginia Tech, even though he had already accepted a new position at Florida State. ... The Chick-fil-A mascot in a cow costume posed for pictures Thursday wearing an interesting UT jersey: No. 7, Nu'Keese Richardson's number. ... The Chick-fil-A Bowl leads all bowls in scholarship and charitable donations.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 44

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

I say we go to Hotlanta with a Fulmer sized chip on our shoulders and shut up some haters...GO VOLS!!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

I say we go to Hotlanta with a Fulmer sized chip on our shoulders and shut up some haters...GO VOLS!!!

What Greer said.

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

You Go Eric Berry! Jim Thorpe Award Winner !!!!

volsfaninkpt writes:

Eric Berry = Thorpe Award Winner

britt writes:

Glad its not the Capital One bowl. Wed have to reinstate Nuke and Edwards to ask "Whats in your wallet"

98memories writes:

in response to britt:

Glad its not the Capital One bowl. Wed have to reinstate Nuke and Edwards to ask "Whats in your wallet"

Man that was a good one. Lol!

SmokeyHound writes:

just shut up everyone and focus on the game. this is what happened when we played ole miss. BEAT VIRGINIA TECH!

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

in response to britt:

Glad its not the Capital One bowl. Wed have to reinstate Nuke and Edwards to ask "Whats in your wallet"

Old joke and low class. What an embarrassment to the program, and you gotta bring it up again. Great.

BloodOrange writes:

Britt writes....."what's in your wallet"......

I'm still in tears.......LOL

WytheVol writes:

in response to britt:

Glad its not the Capital One bowl. Wed have to reinstate Nuke and Edwards to ask "Whats in your wallet"

LOL!!!

WytheVol writes:

in response to V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO:

Old joke and low class. What an embarrassment to the program, and you gotta bring it up again. Great.

Oh come on.. That was kinda funny. Even if it was a shot at our guys.

utvolz#637682 writes:

Just focus on the task at hand; winning a big payday bowl game in the back yard of one of our richest recruiting grounds. GO VOLS AND BEAT VA TECH!

brokebackvol writes:

I'm hoping for a good exciting game, with the Vols pulling a squeaker of a win out from under Beamer, and we start off 2010 with a promise of an exciting basketball season! GBO!

britt writes:

in response to V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO:

Old joke and low class. What an embarrassment to the program, and you gotta bring it up again. Great.

chill out dude. just trying to get a little good out of a bad situation

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

in response to britt:

chill out dude. just trying to get a little good out of a bad situation

I know, its just been used over and over. I'm just ready to play football again, and don't wanna dwell on the past, that's all. No harm meant.

agohn writes:

in response to britt:

Glad its not the Capital One bowl. Wed have to reinstate Nuke and Edwards to ask "Whats in your wallet"

Good one dude. I'm sorry I didn't think of that first. My wife even laughed and said it was funny too.

Voluvr writes:

Berry comes back for senior season
Luc comes back to UT
Scroggins and Simms sign
Rodney Garner joins the staff at UT
Cullen, Stone, Green sign.
Tennessee has #1 recruiting class.
UT plays bama for SEC title next year.
Tennessee wins the National Championship in 2011, 12, 13.
I believe.

rockytopatl writes:

I posted much of what Kiffin said today during all the whining a coupla weeks back about us getting shafted by the Outback Bowl. Better bowl, better matchup, played indoors during prime time with no TV football competition in a recruiting hotbed that the coach has smartly targeted. Plus, it's a shorter drive for the hostesses.

OK, sorry about that one.

Hounddog writes:

in response to SmokeyHound:

just shut up everyone and focus on the game. this is what happened when we played ole miss. BEAT VIRGINIA TECH!

Cousin!

Ask anyone on here The Hounddog preached all week to focus on Ole Miss that week and not the stupid hold-up thing. The team usually reflects the mood of the fans.

SmokeyHound you are right everyone shut up! Talk about VT! Think Beamer Ball! Not going to be easy and especially if we let the distarctions actually distract. Sad that the KSN hasn't posted more articles about our bowl opponent. Why not?
SmokeyHound join me in saying we will give anyone fleas and rabies that keeps distracting
Let play Virgina Tech! Hounddog

dvols writes:

dont forget bout that state fence kiff! 2 or 3 from memphis can rock! 5 stars aint doin suth cal no good!

rockytopatl writes:

in response to Hounddog:

Cousin!

Ask anyone on here The Hounddog preached all week to focus on Ole Miss that week and not the stupid hold-up thing. The team usually reflects the mood of the fans.

SmokeyHound you are right everyone shut up! Talk about VT! Think Beamer Ball! Not going to be easy and especially if we let the distarctions actually distract. Sad that the KSN hasn't posted more articles about our bowl opponent. Why not?
SmokeyHound join me in saying we will give anyone fleas and rabies that keeps distracting
Let play Virgina Tech! Hounddog

Hounddog: This time we have more time to distance ourselves from the distraction. This one is already losing steam. I think Kiffin can use it as a positive. You saw it already today: "People are going to be coming after us." He can use it as a motivator. It's us against them.

I think they'll play the way they played against Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. I think the Hokies could be in big trouble.

69grad writes:

in response to britt:

Glad its not the Capital One bowl. Wed have to reinstate Nuke and Edwards to ask "Whats in your wallet"

Funniest. Post. Ever.

vol88 writes:

I hope the Chick-fil-a cow wearing a UT jersey isn't a recruiting violation.

SmokeyHound writes:

in response to Voluvr:

Berry comes back for senior season
Luc comes back to UT
Scroggins and Simms sign
Rodney Garner joins the staff at UT
Cullen, Stone, Green sign.
Tennessee has #1 recruiting class.
UT plays bama for SEC title next year.
Tennessee wins the National Championship in 2011, 12, 13.
I believe.

thats the best case scenario...

Berry, crompton, hardesty, williams, walker, mccoy, all of our o-line leave

luc stays at fsu.
scroggins and simms stay

we hire a lousy nfl coach who cant recruit worth a dang, who coaches like phulmer

tennessee doesnt land a top 25 class

tennessee comes in third to last in the east, doesnt go to a bowl

ut martin W
oregon L
Florida L
UAB W
LSU L
Georgia L
Alabama L
South Carolina toss up
Memphis W
OLE miss L
Vandy W
Kentucky toss up

KennyPowers_UTfan writes:

in response to SmokeyHound:

thats the best case scenario...

Berry, crompton, hardesty, williams, walker, mccoy, all of our o-line leave

luc stays at fsu.
scroggins and simms stay

we hire a lousy nfl coach who cant recruit worth a dang, who coaches like phulmer

tennessee doesnt land a top 25 class

tennessee comes in third to last in the east, doesnt go to a bowl

ut martin W
oregon L
Florida L
UAB W
LSU L
Georgia L
Alabama L
South Carolina toss up
Memphis W
OLE miss L
Vandy W
Kentucky toss up

More worse case stuff is Urban Meyer NOT taking the ND job... It really ticks me off to read all the BIG MOUTHS who were sure he was going to ND. Now we have to keep dealing with him as this is the 2nd time he has told ND to pound sand. Not only that, he steals Cody Riggs from us! We need speedy corners, especially ones that have UT roots!

allvol32 writes:

This just in - NCAA investigating UT again. The NCAA said today that all of the NCAA inquiries being reported on in the national media constitute an illegal contact with recruits. Sanctions will be imposed on UT for this flagrant violation of NCAA policy.

In other news Reggie Bush and USC have been cleared of all wrongdoing by the NCAA and an apology has been issued to both parties.

VOLinATL writes:

in response to brokebackvol:

I'm hoping for a good exciting game, with the Vols pulling a squeaker of a win out from under Beamer, and we start off 2010 with a promise of an exciting basketball season! GBO!

Squeaker?? Let's go for a blowout win, so we can fully exorcise some old Georgia Dome demons!

Hardrocknox writes:

in response to britt:

Glad its not the Capital One bowl. Wed have to reinstate Nuke and Edwards to ask "Whats in your wallet"

Classic ....LOL

Madkels writes:

I hope the Chick-fil-A cow wasn't packing a pellet gun!

volsoutwest writes:

in response to britt:

Glad its not the Capital One bowl. Wed have to reinstate Nuke and Edwards to ask "Whats in your wallet"

Now that's funneee!!!!

CrankE writes:

Kiffin is parroting what I said for a week or so regarding the Chicken vs. Outback debate. (I'm kidding of course.) The Chick bowl is a better deal all the way around. Tougher opponent, but a better deal. UT needs to show up, show out and get a win in the worst way.

Break the hex. Break the hokies. Break the haters.

Go Vols!

DC_Vol writes:

Hey Vol Fans,

How about Kiffin praising Gran for staying an additional three days to help prepare Tennessee for VA Tech? Weren't MV and other Florida posters trying to intimate that Gran was leaving on bad terms with Kiffin. Once again they make up anything to stir the pot.

Just proves how much Kiffin is in the UF posters heads. KMAN MV Backtobackchamps(which I chuckle at everytime I read his name). His name brings a smile to my face that Florida fell short of BACK TO BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS and brings back wonderful memories of the Alabama beat down of Florida by a better coached Alabama squad over a more talented and heavily favored Florida team.

10cvolnga writes:

This headline mentions $2.7 mil to be paid to Vols for participating in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl. I know there is a sharing of receipts within the SEC for members bowl participation. I found this explanation on another website that was interesting:

SEC BOWL REVENUE DISTRIBUTION
(A) For bowl games providing receipts which result in a balance of less than $1,500,000, the participating institution shall retain $800,000 plus a travel allowance as determined by the SEC Executive Committee. The remainder shall be remitted to the Commissioner and will be divided into 13 equal shares with one share to the Conference and one share to each member institution.

(B) For bowl games providing receipts which result in a balance between $1,500,000 and $3,999,999, the participating institution shall retain $1,000,000 plus a travel allowance as determined by the SEC Executive Committee. The remainder shall be remitted to the Commissioner and will be divided into 13 equal shares, with one share to the Conference and one share to each member institution.

(C) For bowl games providing receipts which result in a balance between $4,000,000 and $5,999,999, the participating institution shall retain $1,200,000 plus a travel allowance as determined by the SEC Executive Committee. The remainder shall be remitted to the Commissioner and will be divided into 13 equal shares, with one share to the Conference and one share to each member institution.

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to dvols:

dont forget bout that state fence kiff! 2 or 3 from memphis can rock! 5 stars aint doin suth cal no good!

That reminds me, what ever happened to Lance's promise to put a fence around Memphis and the state? Immediately Saban took the top receiver from Memphis like two days after that big statement. And, that wasn't all he got. He will land James Stone from Nashville, too. That isn't a very strong fence, Lance. If the rumors are true that Lance may be leaving for another team, that fence never even got built. Bluster, bluster.

micbrooks#212023 writes:

in response to hollowheadvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I remember the last time we went to the Cap 1 bowl, our AD said we needed to make at least $3 million to break even. After paying for travel, rooms and meals and some form of entertainment for the whole team, athletic staff, the band, etc, its easy to see why. More and more its about prestige and the extra days of practice. If you are not in a BCS bowl, you aren't going to make any money. Good news is the two that do go are going to bring home about $25-$30 mil between them to divide around the conference.

abnermc writes:

Better be working on special teams for this game.

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

Did the Chickfila cow have a pellet gun?

MontVOL525 writes:

Does anyone have insight on any of the early enrollees? Chaz Green?

tonyvick#213307 writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

I say we go to Hotlanta with a Fulmer sized chip on our shoulders and shut up some haters...GO VOLS!!!

"Hotlanta" is so 80's, it's now called the A T L

CrankE writes:

in response to tonyvick#213307:

"Hotlanta" is so 80's, it's now called the A T L

Yesterday's city of tomorrow, because today is soon!

Go to Youtube and look up "Sturgess Fillmore Atlanta" and it should pop up. It's a hilarious fake chamber of commerce video that everyone going to the city too hateful to be busy should watch.

back2backchamps writes:

in response to DC_Vol:

Hey Vol Fans,

How about Kiffin praising Gran for staying an additional three days to help prepare Tennessee for VA Tech? Weren't MV and other Florida posters trying to intimate that Gran was leaving on bad terms with Kiffin. Once again they make up anything to stir the pot.

Just proves how much Kiffin is in the UF posters heads. KMAN MV Backtobackchamps(which I chuckle at everytime I read his name). His name brings a smile to my face that Florida fell short of BACK TO BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS and brings back wonderful memories of the Alabama beat down of Florida by a better coached Alabama squad over a more talented and heavily favored Florida team.

Just thought I would tell you again, my log-in name was created because of the BACK to BACK NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS that UF won in basketball. You know that sport where you guys claim that Pearl owns Donovan, although Pearl doesn't own any wins in the elite 8 :)

volsn3 writes:

HEY BAMA FANS,,,,TELL THE TRUTH,,,,,STILL WIPING THAT SWEAT OFF....CAN'T GET THAT THOUGHT OF YOUR GREAT ATHELETE BLOCKING THAT KICK HEARD ALL AROUND THE ESPN WORLD WITH HIS ARM PIT.....HE EVEN GOT OFF THE GROUND A WHOLE INCH AND A HALF.....HAHAHHAHA......MAKES ME SICK HAVING TO KEEP SEEING THAT HIGHLIGHT COME UP AGAIN AND AGAIN.....THEN LISTEN TO THE BAMA FAITFUL SIGN HOW THEY WHOOPED ARE "HINNY'S"....WE HAD A FEW BREAKS ON THE BIG ORANGE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RUN....FACE IT .....YOUR VERY LUCKY,,,,,AND TEXAS HAS SOMETHING TO PROVE.....HOOK EM HORNS....IN THE ARMPITS.....LOL

volsn3 writes:

ALSO...THANK FOR MAKING TEBOW CRY......HAHAHAHAHA

volbald writes:

in response to Voluvr:

Berry comes back for senior season
Luc comes back to UT
Scroggins and Simms sign
Rodney Garner joins the staff at UT
Cullen, Stone, Green sign.
Tennessee has #1 recruiting class.
UT plays bama for SEC title next year.
Tennessee wins the National Championship in 2011, 12, 13.
I believe.

Keep drinking the orange koolade.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features