I’d sure love to know what UT Chancellor Donde Plowman means when she said this:
Tennessee athletics expects to incur an operating loss of more than $28 million during the 2021 fiscal year, and it will rely on financial support from the university and the SEC to cover the deficit.
The projected loss is primarily tied to a steep reduction in ticket revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university has committed $12.5 million in institutional support from financial reserves to help cover the deficit, Plowman said. That support is not funded by tuition dollars, she said. Additionally, the SEC will provide financial relief, Plowman said.
“I can’t go into all the details about what that conference package is going to look like, but what I can tell you is, that (operating deficit) will be covered,” Plowman said. “It will be close, but we’re going to make it.”
Is Greg Sankey bailing out UT athletics with a loan? An outright grant? An advance on TV money? That opens up an enormously potential conflict of interest. For example, how motivated will the conference be to support NCAA sanctions if it impacts the school’s ability to meet future financial obligations?
There’s no indication anyone’s asked the SEC office about this, but I’d sure love to hear the details.