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KNOXVILLE — Supporters of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will have the chance to rub elbows and play golf with some well-known names this weekend while raising money for scholarships benefiting African-American students.

The fifth annual Alex Haley Scholarship Benefit Auction & Celebrity Golf Tournament takes place Sunday and Monday, May 16 and 17.

The auction will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Knoxville. Local radio personality Jimmy Hyams, of WMNL-AM sports radio, will preside as master of ceremonies, and UT Head Football Coach Derek Dooley will speak. Items to be auctioned include a signed Peyton Manning football helmet, a New York Knicks photo signed by Allan Houston, two round-trip tickets on Continental Airlines, a boxing glove signed by Muhammad Ali, a 2009 New Orleans Saints Super Bowl helmet and more. Tickets are still available for the auction. The cost for a reserved table is $500; individual seats are $50. For more information about attending the auction call 974-7449.

Monday’s tee time at Gettysvue Polo, Golf & Country Club in Knoxville is set for 9 a.m. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Members of the UT administration will be joined by former UT football coaches Phil Fulmer and Johnny Majors. Registration for the golf tournament is full.

Other notable attendees of both the auction and the golf tournament include former Volunteer basketball player and retired NBA player Dale Ellis, former Volunteer football and NFL stars Al Wilson and Haskel Stanback, and former UT men’s basketball coach Wade Houston.

The Alex Haley Scholarships were created to benefit current and incoming African-American undergraduate students at UT. The scholarships were named for Haley because of his close ties to UT.

Haley, best known for his novel “Roots,” served as an adjunct faculty member in UT’s College of Communication and Information in 1991 and donated his notes, manuscripts, videotapes and mementoes to UT’s Special Collections Library. While at UT, Haley presented lectures that attracted large campus and community audiences. He lived in Norris, Tenn., just outside Knoxville, and died in 1992.

The two-day event is sponsored by the UT Millennium Focus Group and the Division of Student Affairs. The Millennium Focus Group was formed in 2002 to assist with fundraising efforts and includes alumni from Tennessee and beyond. Former Tennessee football star and professional football player Stanley Morgan and his wife, Rholedia, chair the committee that began the Alex Haley Scholarship Benefit Auction & Celebrity Golf Tournament in 2004 to increase awareness for these efforts and involve a larger public.

C O N T A C T :

Rebekah Winkler (865-974-8304,