Vols basketball announcer claims he was fired because of budget cuts

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Changes are coming to Vol basketball games, and some are not happy about it.

The Vols announcer says he was recently let go, claiming the university told him it was because of budget cuts.

If you been to a Vols or Lady Vols basketball game you have probably heard his voice.

“Basically they wanted to create an atmosphere like none other, so they wanted an NBA atmosphere and this is what I’ve been doing since forever,” said Brian Tate.

Tate spent years pumping up fans as the Vols took the court, but recently he says he was told his services were no longer needed.

Tate says he was told it was to save money, but he says at $50 a game the university is not saving much and is cutting something he believes makes a big difference.

“If you’re doing something that you love to do, and you’re passionate about it, and you get to do it at the university that you went to, that’s going to get more people to go to the University of Tennessee,” he said.

Tate says the decision to let him go surprised him especially, he says, because of some of the emphasis put on other sports at UT.

“If we want to contend to be a team that’s going to be a dominant team in the SEC and in the NCAA, we’re going to have to put forth an effort. I see it during football season. It should be the same for every sports program,” he said.

He says while he is disappointed in the outcome, he’s not holding any hard feelings.

“I’m not going to get mad at it. It is what it is. I mean I love my university. I love my school. I’m born and raised here,” said Tate.

6 News did try to contact the UT Athletics Department for more about the cuts and to see if they are permanent but we have not heard back yet.

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