Tennessee athletic director John Currie has been on the job since April 1.
He was hired Feb. 28.
One of the most polarizing issues he inherits is whether to restore the Lady Vols nickname and logo to all women’s sports, rather than have it apply to just women’s basketball.
Former Tennessee AD Dave Hart probably angered more people with his decision to implement “One Tennessee’’ than any verdict he rendered.
Currie has had two months on the job, three months overall, to digest the issue.
His thoughts now?
“I don’t have a full answer to all those questions, although I have been really appreciative of the way people have expressed their opinion on the Lady Vols brand and the Lady Vols logo,’’ Currie said.
“I personally have a tremendous sense of appreciation of the history of what women’s athletics at the University of Tennessee has been and meant to for all of college athletics. I appreciate that very, very much.
“It’s a really interesting issue and I know it is one that has caused pain and a feeling of disrespect among some of our constituents and I don’t like that. I don’t like pain and disrespect. So part of what we’re trying to do is be as respectful as possible in considering the different aspects and nuances of the issue.’’
With the start of classes and some women’s sports at UT just a few months away, Currie was asked when he would make a decision.
“I think it’s tough to put a timetable on something like that,’’ Currie said. “Part of my obligation, and I think the chancellor would concur, is to really listen. There’s lots of different folks. Most of our student-athletes are not on campus now. I think we need to be deliberate in that process. I also think it’s important to show a commitment to all of our athletes.’’
To that end, Currrie has attended a number of sporting events in the past few months – baseball, softball, tennis, track meets.
Currie said the commitment to women’s sports isn’t just with a logo but with “actions and words and hearts, and how we care about both men’s and women’s student athletes at the University of Tennessee.’’
But if Currie reinstates Lady Vols, that would be commitment enough for many women’s sports followers.