All her sister institutions in the Southeastern Conference are watching to see if the University of Tennessee athletic program can be reconstituted so as to make UT again worthy of SEC membership. The merger of the separate men’s and women’s athletic departments at UT, and the naming of the former women’s athletic director as overall director, are encouraging signs. Men were responsible for the scandals that brought on an NCAA investigation and the exposure of a dozen violations, forcing the dismissal of coaches and the resignation of the previous AD. Much is yet to be done; large questions remain unanswered. Should UT drop the expensive, pressure-filled game of full-contact football, and replace it with “touch,” a variation for which many recent UT teams have seemed more suited anyway? Might gymnastics be a better winter activity for male athletes than basketball, a game dominated by female athletes, at least at Tennessee? Yes in both cases, probably.

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