UT says it will no longer host high school football jamboree at

UT says it will no longer host high school football jamboree at Neyland Stadium

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Neyland Stadium Neyland Stadium
By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The University of Tennessee says it will no longer host the KickOff Classic Jamboree at Neyland Stadium.

The jamboree in past years allowed Knoxville's high school football teams the opportunity to play on the Neyland Stadium field in August just before the start of the regular football season.

UT Senior Associate Athletic Director Jimmy Stanton released this statement to 6 News Thursday:

"We place great priority on having the field at Neyland Stadium in the best possible condition when the Tennessee football season begins, which we believe is in the best interests of our football program. As such, we will not be hosting the Jamboree or any other on-field events in August at the stadium moving forward. We greatly value our relationships with all of our local high schools, and we understand the unique experience of playing in Neyland Stadium. We will have discussions regarding the potential of hosting the Jamboree in the Spring moving forward, as we are certainly open to this event taking place in the weeks after the Orange and White Game each year."

Local coaches told 6 News the jamboree raises money each year to help pay for the catastrophic athletic insurance for the players.

West High School Football Coach Scott Cummings says they raise several thousand each year at the jamboree. Without that money players' families would have to pay out of pocket.

Cummings says it is also something the kids look forward to every year, getting the chance to play in the iconic stadium

"It's disappointing. I've always had respect for Tennessee for allowing us to come over there and have such a grand event. It's not that bad. We can deal with it but it's not as grand of an event and it doesn't get the kids nearly as excited as getting to run on the field over at the University of Tennessee," said Cummings.

Without the jamboree, Cummings says the money for the insurance will have to be paid by players' families.

He said they will be looking at ways to continue to raise that money and make up for the loss.
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