UPDATE: UT Athletics brings back Lady Vols brand
Tennessee AD Currie said the important thing now is that the Athletics department can move forward and restore the Lady Vols brand.
UPDATE: (WBIR) - UT Athletics Director John Currie announced Thursday that UT will restore 'official visibility' of the Lady Vols brand and name.
Currie spoke about Power T being the official mark of the campus but said that doesn't mean all other brands must cease to exist. Therefore, women athletes can refer to themselves at UT as Lady Vols.
"It's clear some passionate fans thought there was deliberate attempt to erase the Lady Vol brand. That wasn't intention," Currie said.
He discussed how proud he is of Pat Summitt's legacy.
"She is a 'true Tennessee treasure," he said. "Legacy of excellence includes all of women's sports at UT."
Currie said the important thing now is that the Athletics department can move forward and restore the Lady Vols brand.
Most women's uniforms say Tennessee and that will remain. However, Currie said student athletes can employ the Lady Vols name and brand as they like.
"We wanted to make sure we were thorough in decision-making process. This is a way to restore the visibility of the Lady Vol brand," Currie said.
"This announcement has no bearing on UT's contractual agreement with Nike," Currie said.
PREVIOUS STORY: KNOXVILLE (WBIR) - The Lady Vols name, logo, and brand will be the topic of discussion at a press conference set for 1 p.m. Thursday.
Tennessee Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics John Currie will host the conference in the Ray & Lucy Hand Digital Studio. This will be Currie's first comment on the topic since taking the position.
Last year, UT and East Tennessee lawmakers who wanted to force the school to put the Lady Vols name back on all its women's athletic teams reached a compromise. Right now, only the women's basketball team is official referred to the Lady Vols.
Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said all women's athletics teams will wear a commemorative patch on their uniforms during the 2016-2017 season to honor the "legacy of the Lady Vols."
After that season, each student-athlete were to decide whether or not to wear the patch on her uniform.
When UT athletics switched to Nike in 2015, it ditched the Lady Vol brand for all sports, except women's basketball.
Lawmakers claimed the school ignored the petitions and demonstrations from thousands of people upset over the change.
However, the university has said it was simply a business decision that coincided with a switch to Nike and helped unite the brand.
UT will face South Carolina , Texas A&M and Vanderbilt in home-and-home series in the 2017-18 season.
Read more at WBIR's website.