Falsely shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater can get you in trouble. So too can a “Roll Tide!” cheer on Tennessee property, apparently. For decades, Alabama grads have rented out a room at the UT Visitor Center in Knoxville for monthly luncheons. But Tennessee changed its mind last year after a parent of a prospective UT student overheard the cheer and reported it to university officials.
“We’re sure the fine folks at Alabama would not want us singing ‘Rocky Top’ in their admissions office,” UT spokeswoman Karen Simsen tells the Knoxville News Sentinel. “We want our visitor’s center to be all about UT, campus traditions and what it feels like to be a student here. So we had to talk to the (alumni group) about how we have a new use for the building.”
The Alabama alumni chapter fought the decision, even sending a letter to UT associate vice president Jeff Maples in January, asking the university to reconsider. But on Thursday, Maples told the group the decision was final. Alabama alums had been meeting in the building since the early 1970′s.