``I don't see the likelihood now,'' said UT athletic director Mike Hamilton. ``If I'd know six to eight weeks ago, I probably could have helped the guy. I had a mid-major I was talking to at the time.''
Marshall is set to receive a guarantee of $550,000. It would have to pay UT $300,000 if it breaches the contract.
Hamilton said he would be agreeable to letting Marshall out of the deal if a comparable opponent for a comparable guarantee could be found. That will be difficult at this late a date, considering most schools have already found a 12th opponent for 2006.
``I've made calls to five or six folks to no avail,'' Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he would like to move the Marshall game in 2009 to later in the season because he's got another opponent in mind for the Sept. 23 date. That UT-Marshall game is scheduled for Huntington, W.Va. as part of a three-for-one deal the schools signed several years ago.
Marcum told The (Huntington) Herald-Dispatch he is skeptical of Tennessee playing at Marshall's 38,000-seat stadium.
``Do you really think Tennessee is going to come to Huntington,'' Marcum said. ``They can have a $5 million (actually $3.25 million) Saturday (with a home game) if they pay a fee and not show up. I think I'll take those odds all day long.''
Said Hamilton: ``He's probably on target on that. It's no secret we'd have an interest in paying the penalty to play another home opponent.''