Editor’s note: This story has been updated to address a statement the University of Tennessee released late Thursday afternoon to clarify Chancellor Plowman’s comments in regards to tailgating earlier in the day.
University of Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman announced on Thursday afternoon that there will be no on-campus tailgating if Tennessee football is played in 2020.
“We don’t know what will happen with football yet,” Plowman said in a livestreamed student update. “We’re hopeful they’ll play. If they do, it will not be to a full stadium, and it will likely be significant reduced capacity. If we do play football, we won’t have tailgating on campus.”
The University released a statement later Thursday afternoon clarifying Chancellor Plowman’s comments, stating on Twitter that “details about individual fans’ ability to tailgate on campus are yet to be determined.”
“Whatever we do will follow recommended guidelines from public health officials,” the University wrote. “We will communicate specific information as decisions continue to be made.
“Game days will look different this fall. There will be no tailgates organized by the university, including student organizations. There is a lot of uncertainty about plans for football in general.”
Details about individual fans’ ability to tailgate on campus are yet to be determined. Whatever we do will follow recommended guidelines from public health officials. We will communicate specific information as decisions continue to be made. (2/2)
— UT Knoxville (@UTKnoxville) August 13, 2020
Tailgating feels like a minor detail at this point following a devastating week around college football. The Pac-12 and Big Ten both decided to cancel fall sports earlier this week in hopes that a spring season could be played. Only three Power Five conferences — the ACC, Big 12 and — are still on track to play as scheduled.
The SEC is still scheduled to begin its 10-game conference-only schedule on Sept. 26. Fall practice is scheduled to begin for the Vols this coming Monday, Aug. 17. Practice was originally scheduled to begin Aug. 4.
Tennessee’s 10-game conference-only schedule, as announced last Friday by the SEC, consists of home games against Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas A&M; and road games against Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. The SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is scheduled for Sept. 19.
The complete schedule that includes dates for all 10 of the games has not yet been released. It is believed that the SEC will release the full schedule next week.