KNOXVILLE (WATE) – In June, with a switch to a unified branding under Nike, the University of Tennessee made the decision to change all of their athletic teams, men and women, to compete under the name Tennessee Volunteers, with the exception of the women’s basketball team.
Sunday, supporters gathered at the Pat Summit statue on the University of Tennessee’s campus to show their support for the Lady Volunteers brand. Organizers said they understand the university’s passion for “One Tennessee,” but at the same time they want to restore tradition.
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Sylvia Billingsley said it was “a smack in the face” when the university made the decision to change the names. “All the sports deserve it not just basketball. People have come to this program from all over to become a Lady Vol,” said Billingsley.
State representative Roger Kane introduced legislation that would require all of the University’s womens’ sports to be referred to as the Lady Volunteers. “Somewhere along the line we got politically correct really wrong,” said Kane.
Kane said he plans to file the bill under the next legislative session, which starts in January.