Tennessee's athletic department spent $149,090 to send the football team on a weeklong trip to Milligan College that coaches hoped would foster team unity in a distraction-free setting.
The university released a breakdown of expenses Thursday in response to a public records request submitted by the News Sentinel in August.
The biggest expense was an $80,000 payment directly to Milligan for the use its practice fields and facilities. Milligan, a NAIA school near Johnson City, turned much of the campus over to Tennessee for the week of Aug. 9.
Tennessee paid $48,750 to Pioneer College Caterers, which provides dining hall services to Milligan and catered the team's meals on campus.
The Vols also list expenses for bus travel ($7,425), snacks ($4,279), truck rentals ($3,173), laundry ($2,894), and hotel expenses ($1,584).
Tennessee was forced to move two of its practices to Science Hill High School's artificial turf field because rain made the grass fields at Milligan too soggy. UT paid the Johnson City Schools $800 for the use of its field.
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley embraced the idea of practicing in "the boonies," as one his players described it. Many NFL teams leave their fancy facilities for more rustic venues in August, and football history is filled with tales of intense "camps" before the season.
"We wanted to limit ourselves from the distractions and simulate what used to be very common," Dooley said at the time. "It relates to team chemistry and getting to know each other and building leadership and togetherness and just creating time where we're away from all (the distractions)."
Dooley had athletic director Dave Hart's backing in moving a week of practice to Milligan.
"I support Derek's decision and feel strongly that we need to make this investment in our football program as we prepare to open our season," Hart said this summer.
Hart also said it was a "one-time situation" that was unlikely to be repeated.
Players and coaches raved about the Milligan experience, although ultimately it has had little impact on the Vols' record. After a 2-0 start, Tennessee has lost all six of its conference games in 2012.
The Vols (4-6, 0-6) play at Vanderbilt (6-4, 4-3) on Saturday (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m.).
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat
Tennessee expenses for trip to Milligan College.
Staff travel $183.92
Milligan College $80,000
Bus transportation $7,425
Johnson City Schools $800
Hotel lodging $1,584
Snacks for team $4,279.15
Pioneer College Caterers $48,750
Ryder Truck Rentals $3,173.61
Source: Tennessee athletic department