College football fans stormed the field of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium and ripped down a goalpost this past weekend after the University of Tennessee beat the University of Alabama. Now the school’s athletics department is asking for donations to buy a replacement goal post.
A private foundation at UT created a web page where anyone can give, with some 2,100 people having donated so far. As of Monday, the Tennessee Volunteers had raised roughly $83,000 out of a target amount of $150,000.
“We thought this was a fun way to invite Vol Nation to continue in the celebration,” UT athletic director Danny White said in a statement. “We had heard before and during the game that the fans would support a celebration, no matter the cost, so we leaned into that enthusiasm.”
Goalposts cost between $10,000 and $20,000 each, excluding installation costs. The university also faces additional costs to fix the field. “Following Saturday’s on-field celebration, additional repairs are needed beyond just the goalposts like turf,” UT athletics spokesman Tom Satkowiak told CBS MoneyWatch.
Tennessee had lost 15 straight times to Alabama and hadn’t beat them since 2006. After the game, fans took a goalpost and threw it in the Tennessee River in Knoxville.
The school has been fined $100,000 by the Southeastern Conference for allowing fans to run on the field, CBS Sports reported. It’s the second offense for UT — students also run onto a basketball court in 2006 after a victory over the University of Florida. A third such penalty would cost UT $250,000, according to SEC rules.
In 2021, the UT athletics department generated $133 million in revenue, with football accounting for $62.4 million, according to financial data the university submitted to the NCAA.
This past weekend marked the first time UT had its goalpost torn down since 1998, when the Volunteers upset the University of Florida. After that incident, the Tennessee school bought backup goalposts and will use them now to replace the goalpost torn down last weekend. Money generated from the fundraising campaign will pay for new replacement goalposts, Satkowiak said.