KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Saturday, some Vols fans threw trash onto the field during the game against Ole Miss. Beer cans, water bottles and a mustard bottle littered the area. Ole Miss coach, Lane Kiffin, was also hit with a golf ball.
On Tuesday, other fans wanted to show that that that the chaotic and aggressive fans at Saturday's games did not represent all of Vol Nation. So, they organized a fundraiser to benefit East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
According to the GoFundMe page, Brent Baltzer and Jayson Swain created the fundraiser. They hope to raise $102,455 — representing the capacity of Neyland Stadium.
"These funds will help the hospital to keep an open-door policy to help sick kids in the Knoxville area," organizers said in the fundraiser. "The minimum donation is $5. If just 20% of people that were at Neyland Stadium donate that amount, we will blow this goal out of the water!"
University of Tennessee leaders condemned the actions of the fans who threw trash during the game while apologizing to Ole Miss for the incident, and UT was also fined $250,000 for their behavior. According to reports, 18 people were also arrested Saturday and 51 people were ejected from the game.
At least two of the arrests were confirmed to be related to the incident.
A UT spokesperson also confirmed that police were working to identify any students who threw trash onto the field. Offenders may not be able to attend future games.
"Vol Nation is unlike any other fan base because we do have the numbers. You look at our stadium, it holds over 102,000 people and we saw that on full display on Saturday," Swain said.
That number sparked the dollar amount they're working to raise.
"Just because one person in a group or a few people in a group does something that we obviously know is not what we want to see, that doesn't mean the whole fanbase is the same way," Swain said. "Let's have some human decency. Let's not try to cut each other down. Let's try to help each other."
That's why former UT football player Jayson Swain got behind Baltzer, a passionate Vols fan, when he created the fundraiser.
"I could just feel that a lot of people felt the same way and I thought that this just needed to happen. If I didn't do it, I think someone else would've," Baltzer said.
Tennessee fan Brandt Thomas witnessed the trash pelt and said he was embarrassed by what he saw from those fans. That's why he said he supported this fundraiser. He said he had to help prove UT fans are not the villains of college football.
"Being a Tennessee fan is something that I've always been proud of. None of us can go back to Saturday night and undo what happened," Thomas said.
He said he was encouraged by this fundraiser because he knows that's what true Tennessee fans are all about. Organizers said the money will help the hospital to keep an open door policy to help sick kids in the Knoxville area.
"I've seen what children's hospitals do for families," Thomas said. "We've experienced the hardships that come with that. I've also got a 9-month daughter who's spent time in a children's hospital and so seeing it from that connection only drove me to want to donate and play a role."
Anyone who wants to donate to the fundraiser can contribute online.