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UT Athletics says it's planning for normal football season this fall

Tom Satkowiak, an associate athletics director with UT Sports, said that the university is planning on a normal football season.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee said it is planning on a 'normal' football program this fall while continuing to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tom Satkowiak, an Associate Athletics Director for Communications at UT Sports, gave 10News a statement Thursday about the university's plans for the upcoming season. The full statement is below:

“Over the past year, we’ve definitely learned to be adaptable. Our approach is to plan for a 'normal' football season this fall while continuing to monitor the pandemic and the progress of the vaccine rollout and remaining prepared to pivot as necessary. We’ll continue to prioritize health and safety as we develop responsible plans for the fall.”

Neyland Stadium was only open at a 25% limited capacity last season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fans also needed to wear masks while watching games and cheering on the Vols. The restrictions were meant to align with state and local social-distancing guidelines for public gatherings, officials said.

Tailgates were also limited to a 10-by-10 foot section behind vehicles and may only include people who came in the same car. No tailgating was permitted in city-owned lots.

However, fans will have a chance to see the Vols under their new head coach, Josh Heupel, at the Orange and White Game on April 24.

According to a press release from UT, Heupel promises a fun, up-tempo offense with an attacking defensive philosophy for the Vols. Season tickets are on sale for the 2021 football season at AllVols.com.