Adams: UT fans pay the price, not the media

John Adams

I passed on the opportunity to pay $50 and watch Tennessee's football scrimmage Saturday. The timing just wasn't right.

In more affluent times - back in the late 1980s, for example - I wouldn't have given it a second thought. Neither would have our accounting department, which didn't raise so much as an admonishing pencil when a Seattle hotel charged me $16 for a jar of peanuts from my in-room food bar.

Ah, yes, the good old days when a conscientious administrative-type might have responded to my $27 lunch and $45 dinner by wondering, "Why didn't you have breakfast? We don't want you to get undernourished on the road."

Frugality now takes precedent over sustenance. I won't open the food bar, much less a jar of hotel peanuts.

I'm also leery of anything that isn't in the budget, even if it's something as compelling as a spring football scrimmage for only $50, which might help feed the family of one of UT's 37 assistant athletic directors. I do appreciate the unprecedented gesture, especially since the previous scrimmages this spring had been closed to the media.

Last week, some media members were informed by UT's sports information office that for $50 they could sign up for the weekend coaching clinic and attend the scrimmage along with numerous high school coaches, some of whom might have been curious as to how their college counterparts could scheme their way to a single first down given all of UT's offensive attrition.

The paid scrimmage raises an obvious question: How much would you pay to watch this team? Or better yet: How much would you invest in this team?

You can't judge a team's worth by the media, which is accustomed to watching for free. Fans pay for everything - seats, parking and concessions - with no assurances as to the quality of performance they will get in return.

A woman with four season tickets asked Friday if I thought fans would be selling their tickets in anticipation of a difficult 2010 season. She was looking to upgrade to better seats.

I also wonder how many fans will choose to sit out a season in which a new coaching staff and an inexperienced team could be hard-pressed to win six games. My best guess: Not as many as there would be almost anywhere else.

Sure, you have seen patches of empty seats in Neyland Stadium on various Saturdays in recent years. And Alabama fans took over the place in the fourth quarter of a one-sided game in 2008 and might do so again this fall.

But UT fans repeatedly have confirmed their loyalty with 90,000-plus crowds. That's not lost on all the players.

Senior quarterback Nick Stephens, who quit UT's football team Thursday, provided a testament to Vols fans in an interview with colleague Dave Hooker.

"It's almost to the point that it's almost surprising how supportive they are because of the bad times we've had and the success that we haven't given to them," he said. "I want to thank them for everything they've done."

Stephens is right. UT fans should be commended for their support.

This is no longer anything close to a top-10 program. The Vols haven't won an SEC championship in 12 years and have lost six or more games in three of the last five seasons. While their fans are paying more for less, they keep paying. And they keep showing up at Neyland Stadium in surprisingly high numbers.

I don't expect that to change significantly this fall. I believe fans will rally around new coach Derek Dooley and a depleted, young team that will be picked to finish in the bottom half of the SEC East.

They will have their first chance to show that support next Saturday at the spring game. The price of admission is only $5.

The media will get in free.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 76

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

During Southern Cals 9 down years their 93,000 seat stadium was drawing around 65,000 until Carroll started winning.

Tennessee fans will never give up on their team that much, even if this year was like that 3-8 Alabama year.

vol_n_cakilaki writes:

Sourness.

1BigOrangeVol writes:

We do have a nice home schedule this year with some top 10 teams coming to Knoxville. It would be nice to pull an upset in @ least 1 of the games. I think Oregon can be had early but only time will tell-kinda need to get this ol/qb situation squared away first.

ThugTillIDie writes:

We'll be lucky to get 80K for Ole Miss and Kentucky. 4-8 with a couple of blowouts will not go over well in Knoxville.

tnsportsman writes:

Adam, I have paid for my 6 season tickets at $2,555. I have made my donation of $6,000 this year, the same as the last 10 years even though times are really hard!

What you fail to understand is that REAL UT Fans will endure year in and year out with THE ORANGE! You should have paid the 50 bucks because you get to cover a TOP NOTCH SEC Program in Tennessee. I know this may seem crazy given the hard times UT went through over the last 2 years. But make no mistake, the Tennessee Volunteers will be back real soon at 8 wins or more in 2010! You AS ALL OF US have to pay their DUES during good times and/or bad times!

Either you are with us or against us! The 'sky is falling' so called fans or the Knoxville Media that abandons The Big Orange now doesn't deserve ANY respect or access in the future when Tennessee is BACK!

CDD is building for the FUTURE instead of the present! Get on board or GET OUT!

GO VOLS!

Waterturkey writes:

$50 huh? Nice. Just checked in to see how the scrimmage went. Thanks coach.

RockyTopBoy writes:

I would put in my $50 if KNS would fire Adams.

NoSirRee writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Adam, I have paid for my 6 season tickets at $2,555. I have made my donation of $6,000 this year, the same as the last 10 years even though times are really hard!

What you fail to understand is that REAL UT Fans will endure year in and year out with THE ORANGE! You should have paid the 50 bucks because you get to cover a TOP NOTCH SEC Program in Tennessee. I know this may seem crazy given the hard times UT went through over the last 2 years. But make no mistake, the Tennessee Volunteers will be back real soon at 8 wins or more in 2010! You AS ALL OF US have to pay their DUES during good times and/or bad times!

Either you are with us or against us! The 'sky is falling' so called fans or the Knoxville Media that abandons The Big Orange now doesn't deserve ANY respect or access in the future when Tennessee is BACK!

CDD is building for the FUTURE instead of the present! Get on board or GET OUT!

GO VOLS!

No way are we winning 8 games this year. That's just wishful thinking. Also, people who think we will have a bad season are still "real UT fans". What ever the fudge that phrase even means. Being realistic is smart and is in fact more psychologically healthy so say the experts in the field.

gillblog writes:

Completely off subject here, but I cannot help it;
after watching the ESPN College Classic 1997 SEC Championship today, it is now for the first time clear to me why Peyton did not win the Heisman Trophy.

Keith Jackson.

His bias was undisguised. His vote was obvious if not blantantly revealed throughout the game in the tone of his voice. Jackson voted for Charles Woodson and almost certainly encouraged his west-cost counterparts to do the same. Why? Well, when pressed hard by an incredulous Bob Griese, Jackson's nonsensical justification was that Peyton "never beat Florida". [So, when did Charles Woodson beat Florida, or any other of Michigan's categorical opponents? Only Keith Jackson knows the answer to that question.]
After sitting in the pressbox for 2 hours and watching Manning lead the Vols back from mistake after mistake to beat Auburn, Jackson still clung to his unfathomable disposition.
To his credit, Griese unflinchingly says that if Manning "after all he has done, coming back to play his senior year when he could have come out, and to do everything a college player and young man should do, if he doesn't win it... I think years from now we will look back and say 'something is wrong'. (Griese's powerful stab at what he know's Jackson has done.)

Sorry about this misplaced rant, but in a sense my eyes have finally been opened, and I could not stay from a post on a UT Volunteer website.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to NoSirRee:

No way are we winning 8 games this year. That's just wishful thinking. Also, people who think we will have a bad season are still "real UT fans". What ever the fudge that phrase even means. Being realistic is smart and is in fact more psychologically healthy so say the experts in the field.

BET? Real UT Fans BELIEVE always! IMO it's not unrealistic that this team will win 8 or more games! The point is Real UT Fans will be there and support this team each and every game. I have missed only 5 games in 35 years, how about you? During that time I have seen the good, bad and ugly but was always there!

Sorry, I will stick with my 8 or more wins, come see me at the end of the season OR BET?

GO VOLS!!!!

NoSirRee writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

BET? Real UT Fans BELIEVE always! IMO it's not unrealistic that this team will win 8 or more games! The point is Real UT Fans will be there and support this team each and every game. I have missed only 5 games in 35 years, how about you? During that time I have seen the good, bad and ugly but was always there!

Sorry, I will stick with my 8 or more wins, come see me at the end of the season OR BET?

GO VOLS!!!!

I go to UT games too and even buy them on PPV so don't play that card its worn out. Knowledge gained through watching this team the last few years along with a new coach doesn't equal 8 wins. Which 8 games do you have us winning or have you not thought it out that deeply yet?

tnsportsman writes:

in response to NoSirRee:

I go to UT games too and even buy them on PPV so don't play that card its worn out. Knowledge gained through watching this team the last few years along with a new coach doesn't equal 8 wins. Which 8 games do you have us winning or have you not thought it out that deeply yet?

You buy the UT games on PPV, LOL? Show up at ALL the games dude! Send me an e-mail, put your money where your mouth is or is not! To early to make indivdual game predictions, IMO this team is WAY BETTER than last year and will be 2 more wins better at the end of the day!

GO BIG ORANGE!

NoSirRee writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

You buy the UT games on PPV, LOL? Show up at ALL the games dude! Send me an e-mail, put your money where your mouth is or is not! To early to make indivdual game predictions, IMO this team is WAY BETTER than last year and will be 2 more wins better at the end of the day!

GO BIG ORANGE!

Yeah you're right, losing Eric Berry, Montario Hardesty,Bryce Brown, Aaron Douglas and the rest of our O-Line starters among others makes us "WAY BETTER" hahaha. So basically, since its too early for game predictions you just threw out an arbitrary number, lol. And no I don't wanna take any of your money simply because I'd feel too guilty about it. One last thing, I do go to all the games, I have season tickets.

SEAL_9821 writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Adam, I have paid for my 6 season tickets at $2,555. I have made my donation of $6,000 this year, the same as the last 10 years even though times are really hard!

What you fail to understand is that REAL UT Fans will endure year in and year out with THE ORANGE! You should have paid the 50 bucks because you get to cover a TOP NOTCH SEC Program in Tennessee. I know this may seem crazy given the hard times UT went through over the last 2 years. But make no mistake, the Tennessee Volunteers will be back real soon at 8 wins or more in 2010! You AS ALL OF US have to pay their DUES during good times and/or bad times!

Either you are with us or against us! The 'sky is falling' so called fans or the Knoxville Media that abandons The Big Orange now doesn't deserve ANY respect or access in the future when Tennessee is BACK!

CDD is building for the FUTURE instead of the present! Get on board or GET OUT!

GO VOLS!

Totally agree! I'll have my season tickets if we go 2-10. It's all about die hard fan support. This is what has made Tennessee football what it is over the years. It's just sad we have media coverage like J. Adams always writing negative articles. I don't blame Dooley for limiting the media around practice. He's wise on this issue in knowing the media these days will only focus on the negative.

Observer43 writes:

Jeeze...Adams, how about some objectivitiy for a change? Your sensationalism is really getting old. Three coaches now and you still throw out the same "phooey". It is obvious what your are up too!

ClockworkOrange writes:

I was LUCKY enough to attend UT from 97 to 2001. To me there is no way our program could be better than that. EVER. PERIOD> so I'll just enjoy the memories, won't be attending many games and really just following basketball. I still LOVE my Vols. But I don't want to endure disappointment year after year. GBO and can't wait til midnight madness!

bhorton#213253 writes:

Mr. Adams obviously has his shorts in a wad over something. Maybe he will share that with us eventually.

strops writes:

adams is a parasite. Too bad there are no alternatives in the print media to get good sports reporting.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to NoSirRee:

Yeah you're right, losing Eric Berry, Montario Hardesty,Bryce Brown, Aaron Douglas and the rest of our O-Line starters among others makes us "WAY BETTER" hahaha. So basically, since its too early for game predictions you just threw out an arbitrary number, lol. And no I don't wanna take any of your money simply because I'd feel too guilty about it. One last thing, I do go to all the games, I have season tickets.

Put your money up Dude, don't worry about my money! Taking all bets on 8 or more wins!

It's based off home schedule and teams we can beat! WINS: MS, SC, GA, UTM, OR, KY, Vaaanderbilt, UAB, Tiger High (Memphis). Hell that's 9 wins there against so so Teams! Throw in Neyland Games against the Swamp Azz FL and Alabubba and who knows. ANY GIVEN SATURDAY in the SEC!

Come on man bet? Put it up or shut up!

GO VOLS!

NoSirRee writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Put your money up Dude, don't worry about my money! Taking all bets on 8 or more wins!

It's based off home schedule and teams we can beat! WINS: MS, SC, GA, UTM, OR, KY, Vaaanderbilt, UAB, Tiger High (Memphis). Hell that's 9 wins there against so so Teams! Throw in Neyland Games against the Swamp Azz FL and Alabubba and who knows. ANY GIVEN SATURDAY in the SEC!

Come on man bet? Put it up or shut up!

GO VOLS!

I can see you've been over-served on the orange cool-aid

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

Woe unto you Dooley. John Adams has been offended! Insulted! Demeaned! Ridiculed! You do not treat a power broker of his standing this way. Nosiree. You are doomed Dooley. Beginning today Adams has begun to transfer all his pain onto ten million used to be Vol fans, and as sure as the sun rises every morning that mass will obediently march behind Johnny to dispatch you the same as he did Fulmer. Fifty dollars indeed!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to NoSirRee:

I can see you've been over-served on the orange cool-aid

I can see you are a cup half empty person and you would never work my company that I own because I can't stand the sky is falling people! Ruck Up and Can-Do or get the hell out of dodge! Come on BET, LOL?

Winning is not the only thing, it is EVERYTHING!

GO BIG ORANGE!

NoSirRee writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

I can see you are a cup half empty person and you would never work my company that I own because I can't stand the sky is falling people! Ruck Up and Can-Do or get the hell out of dodge! Come on BET, LOL?

Winning is not the only thing, it is EVERYTHING!

GO BIG ORANGE!

I'm not interested in plumbing work or pyramid schemes, thanks though. Enjoy your night

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

Nice Whine, John. Join us bloggers and whine away.

ThugTillIDie writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

BET? Real UT Fans BELIEVE always! IMO it's not unrealistic that this team will win 8 or more games! The point is Real UT Fans will be there and support this team each and every game. I have missed only 5 games in 35 years, how about you? During that time I have seen the good, bad and ugly but was always there!

Sorry, I will stick with my 8 or more wins, come see me at the end of the season OR BET?

GO VOLS!!!!

I'll bet you that $6,000 bucks you donate to UT every year that they don't win 8 games.

lewhs93#205993 writes:

in response to RockyTopBoy:

I would put in my $50 if KNS would fire Adams.

I'll also chip in $50 to rid us of the cheap one.

196SVol writes:

Why is everyone so hard on Adams.

77VolFS writes:

in response to bhorton#213253:

Mr. Adams obviously has his shorts in a wad over something. Maybe he will share that with us eventually.

He, as the rest of the media, are not thrilled with the access limits put on them by CDD.

Denvervol4life writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

I can see you are a cup half empty person and you would never work my company that I own because I can't stand the sky is falling people! Ruck Up and Can-Do or get the hell out of dodge! Come on BET, LOL?

Winning is not the only thing, it is EVERYTHING!

GO BIG ORANGE!

If I bet I would def bet u we don't win 8 games. Just bc a man thinks we ain't goin 2 win 8 games doesn't make him any less of a fan. Makes him realistic. Dooley was a middle of the pack WAC coach. We will be lookin for another coach soon 4 wins at the max.

196SVol writes:

in response to Oneg:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How do people who post less than this get kicked off of the board? Seems everyone is quite harsh against Adams and KNS in general over the access issue.

HallowedHill writes:

It's still a game but the beauty of game comes from the glimmers of the human will to suceed no matter the odds. That's why they play the games, that's why we keep watching.

Go Vols!

Volfan1 writes:

$50.00?
Isn't that about a hundred times what your article is worth?
Isn't that about double what your monthly salary should be?
Isn't that what 100,000 Vol fans would each pay to see you gone to a Louisiana or Alabama paper?

TommyJack writes:

Charging the media to attend a scrimmage is chickenchit, IMO.

fhjm1234#209203 writes:

Couldn't help but respond to the rant about the heist of Peyton's Heisman. I remember the broadcast when Griese couldn't believe what Jackson was saying but in the final tally what lost the Heisman for Peyton was Danny Wurfel. No way the national media was going to give back to back Heismans to squeeky clean white QBs from the SEC. Didn't happen then and will never happen. Jealously is a terrible thing.

DannyVol writes:

If the KNS doesn't have a big problem with this article then they must have a much bigger problem with UT. This will be the last article I read by this bitter, talentless hack. The fans deserve better. Thankfully, Chattanooga also has a newspaper.

ThugTillIDie writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

UGA and USC are not winable games. Vandy is a toss-up. I have to think this is the year for UK.

tennezz writes:

I look for us to go 6-6 this year, with 7-5 being possible! After this next recruiting class we will have a better idea of where we are headed!

gtownvol writes:

Let's see. Adams is supposed to be one of the local guys covering UT athletics and yet he and KNS decide not to kick in 50 bucks to watch one of the first football scrimmages for a new coach and new quarterback so they can give UT fans an eyewitness report and analysis! I guess times really are tough for the newspapers.

ClockworkOrange writes:

in response to gtownvol:

Let's see. Adams is supposed to be one of the local guys covering UT athletics and yet he and KNS decide not to kick in 50 bucks to watch one of the first football scrimmages for a new coach and new quarterback so they can give UT fans an eyewitness report and analysis! I guess times really are tough for the newspapers.

Great comment! At 50 cents an issue, they would recoup this by the extra 101 (for a profit) people who would buy the paper to read the story about the new coach and QB. Plus, you would hope their accountant would be smart enough to deduct the 50 bones as a business expense, thereby reducing taxable income and increasing cash flows. jesus crist guys

OldNumber7 writes:

Well well, no country club for the media and so there's dissent in the ranks. I don't care what these coaches do to the media guys, but it's obvious John gets his feathers ruffled and takes to writing doom-and-gloom to hopefully exact revenge somehow. If it wins games, I don't care how badly the media is beaten down.

rhmhrh writes:

Mr Adams...it's really not plesant watching a grown man such as yourself cry and feel sorry for himself so much Ross

rusty_shackleford writes:

Bitter much?

Couchdummy writes:

Ever think about asking your editor to call Mike Hamilton on behalf of the KNS writeres rather than airing your "business problem" to us readers? What are we readers supposed to do to help you?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

12 years of no SEC rings.

We have been atilt for a long time.

Amazing the support that still exists for our beloved Orange.

And on we go.

gaj619 writes:

I think everyone is missing the point that "slick adams" slipped into the article. This was not $50 just for the scrimmage but also included the coaching clinic. If this forum ever needed a lesson in the duplicity of Adam's and his ilk at the kns this is it.

Bigger_Al writes:

in response to RockyTopBoy:

I would put in my $50 if KNS would fire Adams.

I'm in for $50. I still don't think KNS would fire him, but it would be interesting to see if Adams would take the money to leave.

Munsterlander writes:

Don't get you on this one. It _wasn't_ $50 for the scrimmage as you kept intimating, it was $50 for the coaching clinic with the scrimmage thrown in as the ginzu steak knives. $50 for the clinic is entirely reasonable if you're a coach wanting to learn something, or, for that matter, a local media critic who wants to get more insight into the new coaching staff. Just a bizarre article.

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

The point that Adams did slip in - SLIP! - was his conviction that if he is not treated like a visiting Monarch at all times, the FANS SUFFER! That goes beyond arrogance to utter imbecillity.

BillsBrother writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Charging the media to attend a scrimmage is chickenchit, IMO.

I'm with you. I fear that our AD's effort to maximize revenue will backfire and ultimately sour many on our program.

And there is far more whining in these posts than in the column...

Munsterlander writes:

Good grief, people - now we're criticizing the athletic department because of Adams' misleading article? Again, IT WASN'T $50 FOR THE SCRIMMAGE - IT WAS $50 FOR THE CLINIC. This whiny, stupid article should be deleted!

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