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Meet the UT super-fan whose idea it was to give tickets to hurricane evacuees

“Nate said I’ll bring it up to marketing at our lunch and we’ll run it up the flagpole and see what we can do,” said Penny, whose family has been members of UT’s Tennessee Fund since 1992. “Nate Warren needs to get props for listening and UT embraced this, did what I think is a good thing for people.

“I just hope this is going to be able to in some way allow for that quote, unquote distraction away from the storm. Sports is so inconsequential when you look at a storm like Hurricane Florence, but it also is consequential because it brings us together in times of hardship. I think this is another example of how to use sports for good. These are the games where the athletic department can go out in the community and give back. That’s where a lot of lifelong Volunteers fans are born.”

Tennessee drew an announced crowd of just more than 96,000 fans, about 6,000 below a sell-out, last weekend in its home opener and Neyland Stadium debut of first-year coach Jeremy Pruitt. The Vols (1-1) host the Miners (0-2), who have been outscored a combined 82-34 in their first two games under new coach Dana Dimel.

RELATED: Vols host one of worst FBS teams before beginning difficult stretch.

(You can follow John Brice on Twitter @JohnDBrice1)

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