'Lady Vols' Name Dropped: Tennessee Faces Backlash From Fans, Alums
Long known as the Lady Vols, especially their hugely successful basketball program, the University of Tennessee has decided to get rid of the word "lady" in reference to its women's athletic programs.
Fans and alumni are pushing back on the rebranding campaign, launching a petition that has garnered more than 5,000 signatures. The petition was started by Tricia Weaner, a former Lady Vol swimmer.
"Being a Lady Volunteer is something that I will cherish forever. The Lady Vol T is more than a symbol. The T served as a fountain of inspiration during my tenure as a student-athlete. It is heart breaking to realize that no future athlete will have the opportunity to be apart of the Lady Vol tradition.
By signing this petition, I do not support the Tennessee Athletic Department's decision to put all sports under the Power T and eliminate the presence of the Lady Vol T in all women's sports."
The women's basketball team, which won eight national titles under legendary former coach Pat Summitt, will still carry the "Lady Vols" name, but the other teams will not.
Weaner talked to "Fox and Friends" this morning about her effort, saying the term "Lady Vols" means just as much to female student-athletes as the school's iconic fight song, "Rocky Top."
She said she's happy that the basketball team can keep the "Lady Vols" designation, but Nike will now produce a "Power T" logo to be used by the other teams.
"It's a tradition of excellence, it's a tradition of empowerment," said Weaner, adding she'll fight as "hard as she can" to get the university to reverse the decision.
Watch the full interview above.