Haslams, Pilot Flying J donate $10M for high school athletics

Pilot Flying J, in collaboration with CEO Jimmy Haslam and the Haslam family, is providing $10.1 million to install synthetic turf fields, running tracks and academic money to Knox County high schools, reports the News Sentinel.

The megadeal was revealed on Twitter by Mark Packer of WVLT, Channel 8, who helped arrange the deal. Knox County Schools will make a formal announcement of the deal on Wednesday, Pilot Flying J spokeswoman Anne LeZotte said in a text message to the News Sentinel.

The deal is expected to provide synthetic football/athletic fields to 13 schools, including Austin-East, Bearden, Carter, Central, Farragut, Fulton, Gibbs, Halls, Hardin Valley, Karns, Powell, South-Doyle and West.

WVLT reported Tuesday that each school is expected to receive $100,000 toward academics, and Austin-East, Bearden, Gibbs, Halls and South-Doyle will receive running tracks. Four schools are expected to receive turf in 2016, five schools in 2017 and the other four in 2018.

Fulton, because it will be hosting in 2016 the second leg of Pilot’s “Battle of Champions” — a two-year matchup against Maryville High School — is guaranteed turf next year.

UPDATE/note: The announcement went as planned. News Sentinel update HERE.