We, the undersigned, are part of the Lady Vol nation and wish to indicate by our signatures on this petition that we do not agree with the following actions recently undertaken by Dave Hart and the Athletic Department at the University of Tennessee:
1. The staff cutting decisions that appear to favor less qualified individuals over award-winning, committed, well-qualified individuals because their salary requirements are less. The best example of this practice is the forced retirement of Debby Jennings in favor of the media relations services of someone who was mentored by none other than Debby Jennings. We believe that since the purpose was to combine two fully functional and successful Athletic Departments at the University of Tennessee that the distribution of functions at all levels of the new unified organization should have been equitable between the choices of personnel from each department. A review of the Executive Staff shows that 3 out of 8 personnel choices were people who had previously worked in the Women’s Athletic Department. However, a review of the Senior Administrative Staff shows that only 3 out of 15 personnel choices were from people who had previously worked in the Women’s Athletic Department.
2. Any decision related to the elimination and/or significant reduction in the utilization of the internationally known and recognized Lady Vol logo. We do not agree that the symbol for the University of Tennessee or the combined Athletic Department is the power T. The power T represents the men's sports teams. The women's sports teams are represented by and uniquely identified by the Lady Vol logo, which was tirelessly promoted to its current status by icons in the women's program like Joan Cronan and Coach Pat Summitt. Therefore, we believe that there should be two symbols to identify the University and its combined Athletic Department – the power T for the men’s programs and the Lady Vol logo for the women’s programs.
3. The Lady Vol nation is signing this petition because we are fighting for the beliefs and standards that both Joan Cronan and Pat Summitt have cultivated for women in athletics at this university. We believe their voices and true opinions on these matters have been neutralized so it is our obligation to speak up.
Raubyn Branton started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,100 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.