It hasn’t been a great few weeks for Vol athletics. Between NCAA investigations, resignations, suspensions and rape allegations, the news cycle has been overwhelmingly negative. Such an environment has made it easy to forget the many positives surrounding Tennessee athletics. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are five reasons Vol fans should be thankful.
Tennessee averaged 99,754 fans per home game this season, up from 95,584 last season. In 2012, the Vols averaged just 89,965 in attendance for home games. In two years under Butch Jones, Tennessee has grown home attendance by nearly 10,000 per game. That’s a staggering number. Vol fans are flocking back to Neyland and embracing a football program that finally appears to be both stable and improving.
If Donnie Tyndall makes it through the NCAA investigation, look for a similar increase in basketball attendance. His coaching style, willingness to embrace fans and the energy with which the Vols play will be a hit.
Vol fans also own social media. Butch Jones is the most followed college football coach on Twitter. Since it’s Vandy week, this seems like a great time to point out that Lady Vol softball (28,751) has nearly twice as many Twitter followers as Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason (14,441).
Momentum in attendance numbers and on social media can only mean good things for Tennessee athletics. And that’s a reason to be thankful.