The University of Tennessee football team gives the gift of gear
The Volunteers donate nearly 700 pieces of equipment to upstart league.
The University of Tennessee Volunteers are being true to their name, offering up more than 700 jerseys and other gear and equipment to the Israeli Football League (IFL).
According to a report from Knoxville’s WBIR-TV, after the team signed a sponsorship with Nike, their old Adidas equipment became null and void. But thanks to IFL coaching coordinator Dan Phillips, who also coaches football at a high school in Knoxville, where the University of Tennessee is located, arrangements were made to salvage the equipment and send it abroad.
The IFL, a 10-team amateur American football league launched in 2005, has major support from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who sponsors the league, but much of the equipment needed for the game is cost prohibitive.
Israel's football league is young but its participants are enthusiastic about the American sport. (Photo: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/Flickr)
Phillips told WBIR the donation to the league would not only help ease the financial burden for the league but also hold symbolic significance for the players well versed in the American sport.
"They're already fans of UT to some degree because of Peyton Manning,” Phillips said. “So it was one thing when they found out they had this great shipment of football gear coming. It was quite another thing when they found out it was from the University of Tennessee."
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