- Advertisement -
Home News Region/State Vols, Tigers should play every year, Memphis legislators say

Vols, Tigers should play every year, Memphis legislators say

NASHVILLE — If a pair of state lawmakers from Memphis have their way, the University of Tennessee and University of Memphis will meet annually in both football and basketball.

State Senator Brian Kelsey, R-Memphis, and State Representative Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, filed a resolution calling for the football and men’s basketball teams from the two schools to meet at least once during their regular seasons.

“Tennessee fans deserve to have the best football team determined not on talk radio, but on the gridiron,” Kelsey said. “While Coach (Penny) Hardaway welcomes playing the University of Tennessee in basketball, Coach (John) Calipari strongly opposed the idea, and future coaches could do the same. These are major Tennessee teams. While coaches may come and go, there is no reason these teams should not face each other every year or that such contests be omitted from their schedules.”

While Tennessee and Memphis last met in football in 2010, the two teams played a basketball game in Knoxville in December. The Tigers won that game, avenging a loss to the Vols during the 2018-2019 season.

Calipari, who coached at Memphis before leaving for Kentucky, was adamantly opposed to playing the Vols in basketball, saying that his school was a national brand and would not benefit from playing a regional game against Tennessee.

However, Tennessee’s stock has risen considerably in basketball, particularly after being ranked No. 1 in the nation for several weeks last season. Hardaway, the former NBA star who is trying to rebuild Memphis to national prominence, has welcomed an annual rivalry with Tennessee. However, Tennessee coach Rick Barnes is opposed to it, and the two teams are not scheduled to meet after this season. There was controversy during last season’s game in Memphis, which saw the Vols defeat the Tigers in Hardaway’s inaugural season at his alma mater. After the game, Hardaway insulted Barnes, and claimed Tennessee players had approached his team’s huddle with their “fists clenched” late in the game. The brouhaha appeared to fuel Tennessee’s resolve not to continue the basketball series.

Parkinson said he has talked to University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd, and that Boyd “gets the importance of this rivalry for our state, and the economic impact it will provide.”

If the legislation were approved, it would take effect for the 2025-2026 seasons.

- Story Continues Below -

Join our mailing list

Get headlines delivered directly to your inbox with the Inside Scott Newsletter.

We will not sell or spam your email address.
- Advertisement -
Independent Herald
Contact the Independent Herald at newsroom@ihoneida.com. Follow us on Twitter, @indherald.
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

9,430FansLike
1,280FollowersFollow
1,692FollowersFollow

Join our mailing list

We will not sell or spam your email address.

The Latest

As February ends, Scott County’s covid cases continue to plummet

As February ended on Sunday, Scott County's active coronavirus cases continued to plummet, dropping to the lowest level in nearly five months. There were 32...

State details allegations of wrongdoing by LaFollette mayor

LAFOLLETTE — The TN Comptroller's Office has released the results of an investigation that resulted in the indictment of LaFollette Mayor Michael Ray Stanfield...

Eight valedictorians top Scott High’s graduating class of 2021

Eight valedictorians and two salutatorians top Scott High School's list of top academic students in the 2021 graduating class, principal Melissa Rector announced Sunday. Rector...

More than 3.5 inches of rain fell over the weekend

National Weather Service estimates indicate that Scott County was the bullseye for excessive rainfall during the extremely wet final weekend of February, with more...

Related Stories

State details allegations of wrongdoing by LaFollette mayor

LAFOLLETTE — The TN Comptroller's Office has released the results of an investigation that resulted in the indictment of LaFollette Mayor Michael Ray Stanfield...

Lawmakers eye changes to the way Tennessee selects its attorney general

NASHVILLE — A resolution allowing voters to change the way Tennessee’s Attorney General is selected was approved on Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. ...

Lee cites falling covid numbers, says Tennessee approach was correct

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee all but declared victory over coronavirus on Monday. Delivering his third State of the State address to a joint...

Update: Gov. Lee proposes $200m broadband investment, money for teachers, other funding

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Lee on Monday proposed a $200 million investment into rural Tennessee broadband. The proposal was detailed during the governor's State of...

Gov. Lee to propose internet investment in rural Tennessee

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will propose an investment in broadband development in rural Tennessee as part of his State of the State address Monday...
- Advertisement -