Our neighbors to the north have tossed down a challenge that University of Tennessee basketball fans cannot ignore.
I’m talking about the coal industry paying $7 million for a new residence for the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team. UT cannot afford to fall behind the basketball lodge race. UT athletics are too important to the Tennessee economy to let the Wildcats have the upper hand.
Perhaps the country music industry will come to the rescue and fund a new residence hall for the basketball Vols. Or maybe the travel center industry, which is pretty much dominated by Knoxville’s own Pilot Flying J, could come up with a few million dollars.
To take the lead in the basketball lodge race, UT should build two residential palaces — one for the women and one for the men.
How does Dolly Parton Hall sound for the Lady Vols?
Pilot Flying J Lodge has an appropriate ring for the jump shooting men’s team.
No doubt, the lobby tributes honoring the financial backers would be pretty incredible.
In the women’s lodge, visitors would be greeted by a video wall of showing filim clips of Dolly’s concerts. Her greatest hits would play in the background 24/7.
The men’s lodge would have a diaroma tracing the history of Pilot Travel Centers. A gourmet coffee bar that’s open around the clock, is a must.
OK, the men’s lobby idea needs some work.
But the challenge must be met. Suggestions would be appreciated.