University of Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer spent some time on SportsTalk with John and Jimmy recently.
They discussed many things including the SEC’s decision on going with a 10-game conference only schedule in 2020, what the two added SEC games might look like, capacity in Neyland Stadium, fan participation events, watching the struggles of other universities due to sports shutdowns, if Wisconsin’s projected losses are comparable to UT if there’s no football, UT athletes on the senior honor roll, if the topic of coaches giving money back has been discussed, scheduling flexibility of the current schedule, wanting to play Alabama as a 8th straight game and much more.
Fulmer on fans in Neyland Stadium:
“I don’t think there’s any question that there will be reductions. I’m kind of holding out hopeful that we can get the curve to kind of turn back down. We’ve got a month and maybe even during the season it could continue to get better. Now, we also know it could continue to get worse. So, I don’t want to put a number out there right now. We’re working on several models. We’ll listen to the state and multiple health departments, and our leadership on campus and everybody will come to the right place.”
Is it fair to say the capacity wouldn’t be a 100% in Neyland Stadium?
“No, that’s fair. That’s very fair to say. We’d love to have it at 100 (percent capacity.) The reality of it, and that’s what we all have to face. You know the economy’s been damaged and people’s jobs and everything. There’s a lot going on around this, and for us to not have social distancing and wearing of masks and taking care of our people and limiting us being all together would be impractical to do. So, we won’t be 100% (capacity.) I’m hopeful we might be 50 (percent capacity.) We could be like most folks and be looking at 20%, 25%.”
On if they’ve decided on whether to allow tailgating this season:
“No. We’ve actually talked a lot about that.We’ve got to get everybody all on the same page with that. The tailgating, the Vol Walk, the band, we’ve had tons of conversations about it. I’d like to sit here and say ‘yeah, we’ve figured that out totally.’ Again, it gets back to the safety factor for people that want to come to the games and enjoy the games, but we’ve got to be smart about what we do.”