Shirts based on bullied Florida boy's design arrive at UT
The University of Tennessee announced that approximately 55,000 shirts based on a Florida boy's now-viral makeshift Vol design have been ordered and some have arrived at the university.
The school said some consumers will get their shirts as early as next week.
The University of Tennessee also announced it has extended an offer of admission to the fourth-grader.
The university has given a four-year scholarship covering his tuition & fees in fall 2028 should he decide to attend UT and meet admission requirements.
The Rock on the University of Tennessee's campus was painted to honor an elementary student in Florida who was recently bullied for wearing his homemade Vol shirt.
The Rock was painted on September 9, just days after a Florida teacher's post about her student went viral and got the attention of Vol nation.
The mother of a young boy from Florida was shocked by the support of Vol fans, more than 650 miles away, after he went viral for his homemade Vols t-shirt.
The boy made headlines after his teacher, Laura Snyder posted a picture of his homemade Tennessee shirt to social media. He wanted to represent the Vols on college colors day at his elementary school but didn't have a UT shirt. The elementary student got creative and made his own UT logo on a white piece of paper and pinned it to an orange shirt.
In the post, Snyder said, "Last week, my elementary school participated in college colors day. When I told my students about this day a week before, this particular child came to me and told me that he wanted to wear a University of Tennessee shirt, but he didn’t have one."
Snyder said her student was "SO EXCITED" to wear an orange shirt, and when the college colors day came, she said she was surprised that he made a makeshift UT label for the shirt made out of paper.
However, Snyder said some other students had bullied him over the sign, and "He was DEVASTATED." Snyder said she wanted to get him a UT shirt and asked her Facebook friends if anyone had any connections with UT.
Little did she know that her request would get such a big response! The post had been up less than two days when the University of Tennessee responded. Vol fans rallied behind the young boy to show their support.
The mother wanted to send her love back to Tennessee, so she wrote a letter that was posted on Facebook. Here's what she had to say:
Jim Delaney, the UT Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and Experience, told WVLT News that the post had been shared with them earlier on September 5.
"As a marketing and fan experience guy, I absolutely loved the creativity that he showed there. And it got back to us and to the football team and to campus here, to the Vol Shop. And so we've all collectively come together, and we are sending him what we call a Volunteer proud pack."
Delaney added, "I think he will go from making his own t-shirt to now being the envy of the school."
Snyder said she was thankful that her post received such a great response.
On September 6, the Vol Shop announced on Facebook that it would be taking pre-orders for shirts with the boy's design logo on them. The shop said a portion of the proceeds from every shirt sold will be donated to Stomp Out Bullying. According to UT Chancellor Donde Plowman, more than 16,000 shirts have been ordered as of September 9.
. Delivery is expected for late-September.