Hello, my name is Jessica Rolfs and I am a former Lady Volunteer Soccer player. Please take a moment and consider the following message to reinstate the Lady Volunteer logo at the University of Tennessee.
Tennessee is one of the top universities in the country for academics and athletics; it is prestigious, honorable and traditional. It is also at the top for promoting and taking care of it’s female athletes. There are very few universities who keep their courts and fields in such excellent condition, or whose seating accommodates thousands of fans. Tennessee truly is a powerhouse for women’s sports and it’s athletes strive to reflect its commitment to excellence.
After hearing about the removal of the Lady Vol logo, I was honestly not surprised to hear of the change. During my last year at Tennessee, there was a lot of talk about how the new Athletic Director was taking the department in a “new and better direction”. There had been many updates to facilities, as well as coaching and administrative changes. When I left Tennessee, it was no secret that the university was going for a whole new look and presence in order to compete with the other schools in the SEC and across the country.
With that being said, I never dreamed they would go as far as taking away the Lady Volunteer logo. Even though I wasn’t surprised by the news, I was extremely disappointed that the department would agree to destroy the women’s history that it’s athletic teams are built on. The Lady Volunteer logo is a symbol of courage and strength; a constant reminder of the struggle for women’s sports. To take away this symbol for all sports except basketball is extremely disrespectful and sends a message that the university does not care about its alums who helped to build the rest of its women’s programs. If Tennessee is going to continue to be a top contender in women’s athletics, the current and future players need to know the history and why it truly is a privilege to play at the University of Tennessee.
I am asking you to reconsider your decision and reinstate the Lady Volunteer logo to all women’s sports to make current and future players aware that they play for something much bigger than themselves.
Lady Volunteer Soccer Player 2009-2013