May 17, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee football team will spend a week of fall training camp away from campus, as the Vols will train at Milligan College in Johnson City, Tenn., from Aug. 9-15.
"The week in Johnson City will provide a unique opportunity to build team unity and limit distractions," said head football coach Derek Dooley. "The opportunity to train away from campus also allows for a more efficient move into our new Football Training Center and will reduce the wear and tear on our practice fields."
The timing of the week in Johnson City coincides with the projected dates for moving all operations and offices of the football program into the new Football Training Center from the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex. With the football team and most supporting units out of town, the facilities staff will be able to complete the move in a more efficient and organized manner and without the burden associated with having the team currently on-site.
With a considerable reduction in the time spent on the Haslam Field practice fields for seven days, there also is a greater probability that the fields will not have to be resodded in October.
"The decision to train off-campus this year is not only driven by the factor of our move into our new Football Training Center but also by the opportunity to maximize the ability of our coaching staff to become further acclimated to one another and the team in a very controlled environment," said Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart. "I support Derek's decision and feel strongly that we need to make this investment in our football program as we prepare to open our season in Atlanta. This is a one-time situation, and there are no plans to train off-site at any time in the future."
Tennessee opens its 2012 season in Atlanta against North Carolina State on Friday, Aug. 31. Kickoff at the Georgia Dome is slated for 7:30 p.m.