Lady Vols legacy threatened by lawsuits, name change - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lady Vols legacy threatened by lawsuits, name change

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KNOXVILLE - (WBIR) - Blended into a crowd of hundreds rallying for women's issues at the state Capitol in January was a small group of activists holding up handmade signs that said "Save the Lady Vols."

The group stood shoulder to shoulder with people largely drawn to the rally because of weightier issues such as abortion rights and health care.

The group's issue: Every University of Tennessee women's athletics team except for basketball was mandated to switch their nickname from the Lady Vols to the gender-neutral Volunteers beginning July 1.

Opposition to that decision has been impassioned. State Rep. Roger Kane, R-Knoxville, hosted Lady Vols Day on the Hill last week, which featured former athletes talking to lawmakers about their problems with the name change. Some opponents are calling for the university's board of trustees to weigh in on the issue. A website — — has posted letters from current and former athletes who want to keep the Lady Vols name and logo. And a petition to preserve the name has generated over 15,000 signatures as of Wednesday, according to the organizers.

Read more at WBIR

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