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UT Tradition Under Attack

Growing up a University of Tennessee fan, a few things have been ingrained into my brain about the long-standing traditions of football games:

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  1. The VolWalk
  2. Salute to the Hill
  3. You get into Neyland Stadium early to watch the Pre-game performance
  4. The Football Team runs out of the signature “T”
  5. Rocky Top is repeated about 100 times.
  6. The Pride of the Southland Marching Band performs a halftime show.
  7. The Tennessee Waltz is played at the end of every game.

This is just the typical game day experience for UT fans.  And what do all of these have in common, the Pride of the Southland Band. Unfortunately, this is all about to change without our help.

The University of Tennessee’s athletic department has been slowly but surely chipping away at the Pride’s traditions for quite some time now. The band has been threatened to go against what they have always done or there will be consequences.

According to the formal Petition, here are some of the changes that are trying to be passed:

1) All athletic departments in the SEC have forbidden the travel of visiting bands without the consent of the host school’s athletic department head’s approval. For Tennessee, this means no school songs will ever be played in an opponent’s stadium. The players will be overwhelmed with the opposing team’s hostile fans instead of being rewarded by hearing their fight song played by the band.33555_487978076284_6986006_n

2) While everyone at Tennessee loves Rocky Top, the official fight song is “Down the Field”. The Pride of the Southland plays this every time the team scores out of respect for our university. The “new rule” is that they must play Rocky Top and that is all. Our fight song will be lost forever.

3) The official rule as of now is that the band is the only entity allowed to play music during plays of a football game. This rule is being modified so that a DJ or advertisement may take its place. Would you rather hear about the ice-cold coca-colas they’re selling at the concession stand or a powerful stand tune to keep you interacting with the players?

480960_10151179843798381_1178467605_nAs a UT fan and student I am outraged by this. Not only am I all these things but my sister is also a Pride of the Southland veteran piccolo player. These new rules are restricting the traditions, I have come to know and deeply love. I hope that every UT fan rises up with me to stop this. Without your help there will be no more pumping up the crowd with a variety of music, performing our beloved pregame, doing the famous circle drill, and playing the Tennessee Waltz at the end of every game.

Not a UT fan? While you may not be a fan of Tennessee, these changes are happening at your university as well. Many of the policies listed above will be in effect come 2014 for a wide range of schools. Everyone needs to stand together now and clearly state, “We will not take this. We know what we stand for, and we will hold true to our traditions.”

The Pride of the Southland has been here for 144 years. Help beyond just signing this petition. Spread the word to others concerning this issue. The Pride members and fans alike have done a great job using social media to spread the word. Keep some of Tennessee’s biggest traditions intact, support the Pride of the Southland. Go Vols.

Don’t let these traditions change. Sign and share this petition.

http:/https://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-tennessee-athletic-department-do-you-love-rocky-top

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