Now the bill is due.
Tennessee football tweeted Sunday that it’s raising money it says will go toward the purchase of new goalposts.
There’s an option for a $16 donation, which is the number of years it had been since the Vols beat rival Alabama; a $52.49 donation, which plays off the final score of the game; and a $1,019.15 donation, which is a nod to the sold-out crowd of 101,915 at Neyland Stadium.
As of early Sunday evening, more than $50,000 had been raised, which is 35% of the goal.
“We thought this was a fun way to invite Vol Nation to continue in the celebration,” athletic director Danny White told ESPN. “We had heard before and during the game that the fans would support a celebration, no matter the cost, so we leaned into that enthusiasm.”
But even that falls short of another tab Tennessee will need to pay soon. On Sunday, the SEC fined the school $100,000 because fans were allowed on the field after the upset win.
Chase McGrath hit a 40-yard field goal with no time remaining to win the game, and within minutes the entire field was covered with fans. Police officers had to lead Alabama coach Nick Saban and his team through the crowd to the visitors locker room.
Since it was Tennessee’s second offense under the league’s field access policy — the first coming after a basketball game in 2006 — it will be required to pay $100,000. A third penalty will result in a $250,000 fine.
Money from field access penalties goes toward the SEC’s Post-Graduate Scholarship Fund.
Tennessee (6-0), which moved up to No. 3 in the latest Associated Press poll, hosts UT Martin on Saturday.
Information from ESPN’s Chris Low was used in this report.