Tennessee football program spent $149,090 on summer trip to Milligan College

Tennessee QB Tyler Bray works with RB Rajion Neal during practice Wednesday, Aug.15, 2012, at Milligan College.  (DAVID CRIGGER/BRISTOL HERALD COURIER)

Tennessee QB Tyler Bray works with RB Rajion Neal during practice Wednesday, Aug.15, 2012, at Milligan College. (DAVID CRIGGER/BRISTOL HERALD COURIER)

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.

Category Expense

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

Laundry $2,894.35

Total $149,090.03

Source: Tennessee athletic department

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Comments » 58

VOLSnTITANS writes:

Money well spent...

$2800 on laundry?? C'mon man

fearthehound writes:

...and money well spent (lol).

Rumblefish writes:

That was good buyout money that could be used right now....

td writes:

There's an argument that could me made that without Milligan, this team could be splintered to match sticks by now. Only speculation though. Would like to hear the coach's and team's perspective on the return on investment based on how the season has evolved.

TitanBlueGoVols writes:

O yeah if there was 1.5 mil to waste on thisBS then a 4.5 million buyout to get this clown and his sorry @ss staff out will be too easy. Send Dooley Packing....

pcshowtime writes:

I wonder how much the ceramic dog cost????

jobrando#216494 writes:

Fire Dooley twice

traderjoe writes:

Fire Hart...hire anyone on this board for $300,000.00 and immediately save $400,000.00 a year. Why not? Is the AD job that hard? We're not talking brain surgery here. After what we've witnessed the last 3 years, anyone with common sense could've of done better. Come on mannnn....

hueypilot writes:

Just think. without that bonding experience we might not have been able to rally to beat Akron

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

Pretty smart thinking by Dooley. Slowly bankrupt the athletic department so that they can't afford his buyout.

I wonder how much that old orange cement dog cost? $20,000? $30,000?

Clarkrm0706 writes:

I like Evan but I "spent" two minutes pondering the point of this article. UT had more bang for their buck than I.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

This probably didn't cost too much more than if they stayed in Knoxville.. by the time they had to replace two of the grass practice fields which are really nice (people should see them).. the other costs they'd spend no matter where they were for the most part. It was a good idea and I'm sure the Vols will do something like that again.

The biggest gain? Anymore upperclassmen don't have to live on campus, so when you move them to camp, you have them completely locked down for a week, completely focused on completing the task of football practice vs hanging out on Cumberland drinking it up with their buddies.

RememberWhen writes:

and to think....that's $150 grand that could have gone to DoLittle's buyout!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I think that $150,000 thousand should come out of Dooley's buyout..JAT!

pcshowtime writes:

that is only $37'272.50 a win this year what a bargain. Heck, if you will remember we came back early because the practices were so good we did not need the extra practice.

MikeInTN writes:

What a waste!!!!

jawga writes:

Just think the $$ saved by breaking camp early & returning to K-Town. I believe CDD said something about his staff was homesick & wanted to get back to their families? He'll have plenty of time for that after Vandy.

signalcorps writes:

all coachs should be made to pay all the money back.....

standfast#211788 writes:

If we were 6-4 right now instead of 4-6, everyone would be saying: "Money well spent!"

jobrando#216494 writes:

volnation going crazy ------gruden to tennessee

TitanBlueGoVols writes:

in response to TitanBlueGoVols:

O yeah if there was 1.5 mil to waste on thisBS then a 4.5 million buyout to get this clown and his sorry @ss staff out will be too easy. Send Dooley Packing....

I meant 150thou but still very wasteful.that was supposed to lead to unity how about buying equipment that helps with tackling.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

volnation going crazy ------gruden to tennessee

I heard that too..I hope/wish/pray.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I heard that too..I hope/wish/pray.

i'll be wearing out google for gruden..say it may leak in the morning

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

volnation going crazy ------gruden to tennessee

Really?!? Haven't heard that one yet.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to CantStandCantStandSaban:

Really?!? Haven't heard that one yet.

pray it's true

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

Spent all that money and they left camp a day early. Come on, really? You have the 20 hour rule and you are going to terminate a day of valuable practice time? I could understand if they didn't need it but come on, they still haven't learned the defense or even how to not jump offsides on offense.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

i'll be wearing out google for gruden..say it may leak in the morning

This would be absolutely monstrous for UT fb..C'mon JG be a Vol!

UTKin1992 writes:

I'm not sure what this article is supposed to prove because 149K is not much for the event in question. Company meetings for 50-100 people can cost upwards of 200K + for only a couple of days at a nice hotel. This was a week with a whole damn football team.

HoustonVol writes:

You also have to remember that one of the reasons they had to hold off campus practice was that the AD was finishing up the renovations and moves to the new buildings. There really was not a place on campus to do practices easily. The person to blame for that is whomever schedule the renovations to wrap up in the middle of pre-season boot camp.

arkansasvol1975 writes:

in response to hueypilot:

Just think. without that bonding experience we might not have been able to rally to beat Akron

lol Akron and do not leave out Troy. You know, ordinarily this would be a joke, but no it isn't.

CoverOrange writes:

A drop in the bucket compared to what the GSA spends on a week long conference.

RoadTrip writes:

in response to standfast#211788:

If we were 6-4 right now instead of 4-6, everyone would be saying: "Money well spent!"

Really? Hope you were being sarcastic. It would mean they had an equal shot with Vandy to make it to 8-4. Barely passable.

Dools thought he had everything figured out when he came here and the UTAD has been made a fool by going along with him.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

pray it's true

Yep, I will "pray". Indeed, if UT is in need of one thing, It is the need for a coach that has been irrelevent for almost 2 decades and is almost novice to college sports. Hell, let's just give Dooley round number three? Oh wait, just realized the difference (excluding famous last name) Dooley actually wanted the job as where Gruden has a better gig. (Just being a Party pooper but it needs to be done) ;)

tnenglish1st writes:

Goodbye Hart! Hello Joan Cronan!!!
Goodbye Dooley! Hello (insert favorite high school/junior college/shop teacher here)???

byrd writes:

There are cheaper ways to go 0-6. Maybe I can be hired as a consultant to help find ways to lose on the cheap.

tovolny writes:

WOW, that was a real good deal. I would have guessed a cost of at least 3 times that much.

But, as you know, architects and engineers are planning a bran new stadium to be located on the ag property across the river. The Stadium will be completed somewhere around 2028. It will be called "The General" (honoring Neyland, Andrew Jackson, and Sam Houston). It will also honor other Tennesseans such as David Crockett, Cordell Hull, Estes Kefauver. Howard Baker, Wallace Wade, Bobby Dodd, Al Gore, and a slew of even more people like Dolly Parton, Roy Acuff, and Minnie Pearl, just to name a few. Each seating section will have a bust of these folks. Did I mention Andrew Johnson, and James K. Polk? Anyway, the stadium will be lightening proof and all the fans will be in climate controlled seats. The roof is actually a new concept featuring an inverted dome. The dome can be opened or closed but will only be opened if the weather is ideal. The stadium will be 100% solar powered. The energy collected and stored during three summer months will be more than enough to energize the football season. Heated and/or cool air will be developed and pumped into the stadium to create rain whenever desired. Wind inside the stadium will be manufactured but will be at the exact same speed and direction as the natural wind outside during football contests. Now get this, each seat will also monitor the fan's, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Whenever something is wrong, medical techs will promptly be on the scene. If you want a beverage, hotdog, or such you only have to use a laser connected to each seat and point it to an item on the menu next to the score board; thence, your order will be delivered directly to you from above. Orders will only be sent to you between plays when there is no action on the field thus preventing anyone else from an obstructed view of the game. Only the person with the correct laser can open order delivery apparatus. You pay using the credit or debit card card used to purchase your seat.

Neyland Stadium will be converted to a basketball and swimming arena and called the Neyland Suummitt Sports Center.

The initial plans for the “General” are already complete; however, teams and teams of students, professors, and scientists will be going over and over each little detail and getting everything designed to the max.

This will probably surprise many folks in the Athletic Department, and UT Administration. But, the design and evolution of sports arenas all across the country are under a giant seize of brain storming and development, and can only be done provided the designers have free reign separated from financial and traditional paradigms.

TNFootbo writes:

I thought it was a good use of $$$. Miss old reruns of Milligan's Island. Sunseri=Skipper. Dooley=Little Buddy. Remember the episode where they almost get off the island? Or almost get a SEC win?

rocky_topper writes:

No wonder fans have pretty much stopped funneling money to the program. We can just keep our own money and waste it ourselves!

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to standfast#211788:

If we were 6-4 right now instead of 4-6, everyone would be saying: "Money well spent!"

If frogs could fly they wouldn't bump their butts every time, if Dooley could coach, if Dooley could recruit, if Dooley could hire good assistants, if Dooley could keep the assistants he hires, if Dooley had enough sense to get in out of the rain, so the Vols are not 6-4 and are not going to be, whats the point?

volinlm writes:

Who cares about this. It was approved by the administration. KNS is just piling on.

GloryDays writes:

You can do what you want to do. Public universities always cry about not having enough money but they always spend a lot of money and only by the best. You are hurting the kids if you don't give us a blank check.

HopeisNotaCourseofAction writes:

in response to standfast#211788:

If we were 6-4 right now instead of 4-6, everyone would be saying: "Money well spent!"

Too many ifs and buts, wouldas, shouldas and couldas the past 3 years.

Of course we aren't 6-4, and never will be with this HC.

HopeisNotaCourseofAction writes:

in response to TNFootbo:

I thought it was a good use of $$$. Miss old reruns of Milligan's Island. Sunseri=Skipper. Dooley=Little Buddy. Remember the episode where they almost get off the island? Or almost get a SEC win?

Now that's funny, I don't care who you are.

Ship wreck or beached, as in going no where or down, that is a good summary of the past 3 years.

Almost get an SEC win epeisode, seems like that rerun has been on forever.

Uh LOVIE...

lafollette37766 writes:

in response to TNFootbo:

I thought it was a good use of $$$. Miss old reruns of Milligan's Island. Sunseri=Skipper. Dooley=Little Buddy. Remember the episode where they almost get off the island? Or almost get a SEC win?

LMAO

Sir_Spanky writes:

Maybe they should've done whatever it was Vandy did instead.

dcap8424 writes:

It's just $150,000... that's not a lot of money compared to what the athletic department makes every year.

Why is this news!? Should we be outraged?

gogovols2002#222335 writes:

Just think it about it..Tiny Richards contains SC/ Clowny on the sack, A field goal goes through the uprights for the mizzou game..Nobody would be leveling the criticism at Dooley/the KNS would probabably not be printing this junk/spreading rumours without substantiated sources as to Dooleys fate.

UTVOL2001 writes:

I thought they would have spent more for that trip. Actually surprised it was not more. Things are expensive these days. GO VOLS!

BigOrangeRock writes:

All of that worked incredibly well. Also having million dollar facilities and practicing up at a high school in JC.

This has been the suckiest 4 years of Tennessee football in over 30 years.

And for all you people so quick to kick Fulmer out 4 years ago...

I TOLD YOU SO.

The rock has spoken.

HopeisNotaCourseofAction writes:

in response to gogovols2002#222335:

Just think it about it..Tiny Richards contains SC/ Clowny on the sack, A field goal goes through the uprights for the mizzou game..Nobody would be leveling the criticism at Dooley/the KNS would probabably not be printing this junk/spreading rumours without substantiated sources as to Dooleys fate.

You only give 2 examples, why stop there? Hell, some are giving 4 examples saying if for those we would be 8-2! We can all give similar examples of ifs and buts, wouldas, shouldas and couldas for the past 3 years, and that is the problem.

Forget 0-15 vs ranked teams or the miserable SEC record, we find a new way to lose every week, or barely scrape by teams we should be running our scout team on the field by mid 3d quarter.

If we had just done this, we woulda won - a too often repeated refrain, so sad.

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