Taking A Stance
Many people have asked me to weigh in on this controversial topic regarding the dismissal of the Lady Vol logo. At first I was hesitant; however, it’s been said that, “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” So here’s my stance: I believe the organized strategy to slowly erase the Lady Vol logo from the university and athletic department is a decision that deprives our institution as a whole from the rich tradition, excellence, and equality in which we pride ourselves.
Tennessee tradition is a cliche’ that rings through the hallways of homes across the country. Yet, how much tradition will we really have if half of it is stripped away with the eradication of the Lady Vol logo? Tradition is our base, our foundation, our “bricks.” Tennessee legends like Peyton Manning and Coach Summitt, along with many others, have laid the groundwork for greatness and significance. They’ve left a legacy that will live for years to come, and that’s why the Tennessee tradition is so rich. The act of stripping ourselves of our own tradition is equivalent to a homeowner stripping his home from its concrete base. No sturdy house was built on sand. We must stand strong in our tradition as we continue our pursuit of excellence.
“Excellence.” It’s a word that was demanded out of me in all aspects of my life by Coach Summitt. Excelling on the basketball court wasn’t good enough. I had to be excellent in the classroom, the community, and in my sport. That’s what being a Lady Vol meant. It meant you were going to compete for championships, but that you were also going to get your diploma and be prepared for life after basketball. When Coach Summitt recruited me, she told my family and me that once my 4 years as a Lady Vol were complete, I would be a woman ready for the world. I didn’t exactly know what she meant right then, but now it’s clear as day. Because of my time as a Lady Vol, I’ve learned valuable life lessons that continue to reap great rewards. The tradition of excellence that has been engraved in the minds and hearts of many Lady Vols has made the University of Tennessee a landmark for championships and prestige. The Lady Vol logo is more than a brand that’s worn for games and meets. It’s a signature of excellence that has been carved out by hundreds of women’s blood, sweat, and tears. To do away with such a meaningful signature is a gesture that loses sight of the true essence of greatness.
The Lady Vol emblem is not intended to be a loud feminist movement. Nor is the abolishment of the logo intended to be a quiet sexist notion. After all, we’re all in this chase of collegiate supremacy together. The Lady Vol emblem is, however, an expression of respect and equality. One of the things I fell in love with about the University of Tennessee is the support women’s athletics received across the board, from the front office to the fans and everyone in between. The “Lady Vol” that I proudly wore across my chest came with administered respect. In fact, it was one of the main reasons I chose to come to Tennessee over other top colleges like Duke, UNC, and South Carolina. As a university we want to be known as respectable and equal. Those are qualities that we all look to hold as individuals of society. So for the sake of our national reputation, our edge in recruiting, our rich tradition, and our pursuit of everyday excellence, I would like to see the Lady Vol logo revived and alive for all women’s sports for the betterment of the athletic department as a whole.
Please note that this statement is solely my opinion. The support that I received from the athletic department and from all of orange nation through my time at Tennessee was amazing. I was able to work with people that believed in my dream and encouraged me to chase it everyday. My time as a Lady Vol will always be near and dear to my heart, and I have the people I was surrounded with to thank for that.
Lady Vol Basketball 2011-2015