David Williams II, Vanderbil Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics Statement
“At about 5 p.m. central time today, we received a phone call from the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl inviting us to participate in their 11th annual bowl. Prior to that we had heard from the Southeastern Conference to alert us that it was in fact going to happen.
“We accepted the invitation graciously and with a great deal of excitement. We’re more than happy to be participating in this bowl game. We are happy to be playing in our home city where many of our fans who could not travel we’ll be able to come and see the Commodores return back to bowl participation. It has been over a quarter of a century since Vanderbilt has played in a bowl game and none of the players’ on this year’s team were even born at the time.
“We are very excited not only about the opportunity for our team to play in a bowl game but also for our university and our city to come together in this great event. We will show how a team and a city work together to put on a great show. We have already sent out information about the bowl to all of our alumni, season ticket holders, donors, the faculty and staff and the student body. We want everyone to come and join us on New Year’s Eve in Nashville. We will have a number of events in addition to the events that the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl is participating in.
“I would like to end this by saying congratulations to Coach Johnson and his staff and to the student-athletes that made this possible. We are the smallest school and the only private school in the SEC and they have accomplished this after 26 years against all odds. I do want to mention to the young men standing up here that I heard back from a group of people who were on the last Vanderbilt team to play in a bowl (1982) and they couldn’t of been happier for you guys. I have also heard from a lot of former Vanderbilt players that say this is a huge and impressive moment for this University and this football program.”
“We are extremely excited to be going to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl. I think our players are extremely excited about this opportunity and I know our coaching staff is. Everybody involved with our program and in the athletic department put in a lot of hard work this season and this is a great reward. We are excited about playing in Nashville. We think this city is one of the best cities in the country.
“We are really thankful that a lot of our fans will be able to get here for the game and hopefully a lot of our out-of-town fans will load up the car or get on the plane and head to Nashville. We are just real excited about his opportunity.
“Two days after I was hired here in 2001, I went to the Music City Bowl and, believe it or not, Boston College was playing against Georgia. I sat there and said ‘man wouldn’t this be cool if Vanderbilt would ever get to play in this game.’ I sat there with Todd Turner and we said hopefully we will get the chance to do this one day.
“It has been a long time and awful lot of hard work so we’re excited. We are anxious to get to work in preparing for Boston College. We have already had a couple of practices and we will have another one starting on Tuesday. I think Boston College is an outstanding football team and an outstanding opponent for us.”
“I would like to say on behalf our team we are extremely excited about being able to play in this bowl. We had recruits in this weekend and at this time last year and previous year’s we wouldn’t be practicing. Normally at this time we are working on getting ready for next year but this year we are still finishing out this season, so this is exciting. We have had a couple of practices lately and the team is practicing hard and trying to get healthy.
“Everyone on the team today received a text message saying that we are going to be playing Boston College. I think it will be a great experience for us to play in front of our fans here in Nashville. We are excited that we will have our Commodore fans here to share this special moment with.”