KNOXVILLE — A long line of patient Tennessee fans waited outside Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday night. Some grasped mini footballs, replica UT helmets and pictures of their favorite players. Inside the arena, the Knoxville Region UTK Alumni Chapter’s annual Welcome Back Barbecue awaited.
The menu included pulled barbecue, roasted chicken pieces, baked beans and, of course, autographs.
But this year’s event was unlike any of the past, where freewheeling fans had unfiltered access to players for autographs.
Thanks to the highly publicized saga of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s alleged pay-for-autographs misdoings, Tennessee, like other programs of late, implemented a new, restrictive autograph policy for the event.
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