NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Senator Brian Kelsey and Representative Antonio Parkinson has sponsored a resolution for the University of Memphis Tigers and University of Tennessee Volunteers football and men’s basketball teams to play each other at least once during the season.
“Tennessee fans deserve to have the best football team determined not on talk radio, but on the gridiron,” Sen. Kelsey said. “While Coach Hardaway welcomes playing the University of Tennessee in basketball, Coach 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.”
“I had a brief informal conversation with UT President Randy Boyd about this matter,” Rep. Parkinson said. “I think he gets the importance of this rivalry for our state, and the economic impact it will provide."
The Tigers and Vols played football against one another in 2010, but that was the last time.
The new legislation said it would go into effect for the football teams in the 2025-2026 season, which would give time for advanced scheduling.
The last time the basketball teams played each other was in December, but Kelsey would like to ensure the games continue in the future.
The newly-considered law would make sure it continues to happen.
“The fan base remains strong in Tennessee and wants to see this match-up every season,” Kelsey said. “Tennessee fans deserve to see the two oldest programs in the state battle it out every year.”
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