After spending millions of dollars recently to buy out the contracts of former coaches and an athletic director, one might think the University of Tennessee Athletic Department would have financial issues.
One would be wrong.
According to a study by BusinessofCollegeSports.com, a website produced by attorney Kristi Dosh, UT benefits from having one of the most profitable football programs in the known universe.
Our neighbors to the north have tossed down a challenge that University of Tennessee basketball fans cannot ignore.
I’m talking about the coal industry paying $7 million for a new residence for the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team. UT cannot afford to fall behind the basketball lodge race. UT athletics are too important to the Tennessee economy to let the Wildcats have the upper hand.
Perhaps the country music industry will come to the rescue and fund a new residence hall for the basketball Vols. Or maybe the travel center industry, which is pretty much dominated by Knoxville’s own Pilot Flying J, could come up with a few million dollars.
If Tennessee’s mens team does well in the NCAA basketball tournament it could cost your company money — lots of it.
March Madness will cost U.S. employers an estimated $1.8 billion in lost worker productivity in the first week of the tourney, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based global outplacement consulting firm.
“For the nation’s employers, the men’s college basketball tournament, better known as March Madness, marks the arrival of several other annual rituals: employee-organized office pools, a potential dip in productivity and a marked decline in Internet speed, as workers soak up bandwidth watching live streaming broadcasts of the tournament games during office hours,” according to the firm’s press release.
Based on what happens around the News Sentinel, especially when the Vols are playing, Challenger, Gray could be underestimating the cost.
How much will it cost your company? Will you be watching the games? I will.