A UT athletic tradition continued Monday night with the fifth annual Volscars awards show. It was a night of glitz and glam as the Lady Vols and Vols traded in their uniforms for formal attire and headed to the Knoxville Convention Center to strut down the orange carpet.
The ESPY-like ceremony is organized by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Its purpose is to acknowledge the various accomplishments made by student-athletes and coaches from spring 2010 to now.
This year’s host was former Tennessee football player Charles Davis. He graduated from UT in 1986 and currently works as an analyst with Fox Sports and the NFL network. Davis was delighted to be the host.
“I’ve had the opportunity to call three national championship games, but I think tonight is the highlight of my career because it involves me being back home with my alma mater,” Davis said.
The night not only included awards, but also offered some entertainment. Student-athletes and coaches participated in competitions on stage and were also featured in video clips. One of the crowd’s favorite videos was a parody of UT football coach Derek Dooley’s weekly press conferences.
A special segment of the show was dedicated to Tennessee assistant swimming coach Joe Hendee, who lost a nearly year-long battle with brain cancer Sunday morning. A few speakers shared the tremendous impact Hendee had on their lives. His daughter thanked everyone for their support and said she looks forward to continuing the legacy her father has made.
Leaving their studies behind for a night to unite and honor one another, the athletes left Volscars with awards as well as an important lesson: never take life for granted.
The Inaugural VOLSCARS, held on April 10, 2007, marked the first time that the men's and women's athletic departments came together to celebrate Tennessee Athletics as one entity. The concept for the VOLSCARS was developed by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as a way to bring the staff and students together for a night of socializing, while showcasing and celebrating the accomplishments of the year. The SAAC committee wanted to create an event that allowed athletes and coaches to mingle with other teams and support staff, which is always such a challenge due to everyone's demanding and busy schedules. This intermingling is also a challenge at Tennessee because of the existence of separate Men's and Women's athletic departments.
The event is a sports awards show modeled after the ESPYs. Tennessee student-athletes begin the evening in Registration walking the "orange" carpet with media interviews in true Hollywood style. Registration contains an opportunity for pictures, mingling, and entertainment. Afterwards, the student-athletes make a grand entrance into the arena, enjoy a highlight video, and a dinner reception. After dinner and dessert, the awards show begins with male and female partnered student-athletes serving as presenters and winners accepting their awards along with 30 second acceptance speeches. Some of the awards of the evening include: Most Exciting Television Moment, Best Comeback of the Year, Best Supporting Role and Mr. and Miss Tennessee. Interjected throughout the night are entertaining videos and live performances from student-athletes.
With strong leadership, great attention to detail, fortitude, and tremendous enthusiasm, the student-athletes at the University of Tennessee host a first-class event that is fun for all.