KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Before Tennessee decided to phase out the Lady Volunteers nickname in all sports but women's basketball, Nike suggested that maintaining the nickname would be inconsistent with the athletic department's "One Tennessee" theme.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported that a line in a document of Nike's brand audit of Tennessee stated that "continued use of Lady Volunteers further segments an athletic institution that is striving to be united as `One Tennessee."
Athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton said Nike didn't formally recommend phasing out the Lady Vols nickname and the school made that decision on its own.
Tennessee announced in November all women's sports teams other than basketball would be called the Volunteers starting in 2015-16. The move coincides with Tennessee adopting Nike as its apparel provider.