University officials issued a release Tuesday adding backpacks to a list of prohibited items that also includes alcoholic beverages, radios without headphones, open umbrellas, video cameras, stadium seats with arms plus weapons of any kind, including pocket knives.
Bags or purses larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches also are not allowed.
Knoxville police chief David Rausch said part of the reason backpacks are being prohibited is because of the Boston Marathon bombings.
"It was certainly an eye opener to us that we need to be careful about what we're allowing to come into large crowds," Rausch said.
Tennessee opens its season Saturday against Austin Peay.