Young Vols fan who made his own T-shirt gets 4-year scholarship offer from Tennessee

Tennessee has offered a four-year scholarship to a young fan who was bullied after wearing a shirt with a homemade UT logo. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Tennessee has offered a four-year scholarship to a young fan who was bullied after wearing a shirt with a homemade UT logo. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A young Tennessee fan who was bullied for making and wearing his own Vols T-shirt has gotten the ultimate offer from his favorite school: a scholarship.

The University of Tennessee announced the exciting news on Thursday. In recognition of his “Volunteer sprit,” the young boy has been offered a spot in the Class of 2032 and a four-year scholarship covering his tuition and fees.

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It started with the young fan, a fourth-grader from Florida, making his own Vols shirt to wear to school for “College Colors Day.” He didn’t have a Tennessee shirt to wear, so he pinned his hand-drawn UT logo to an orange shirt. Tennessee sent him a care package after they found out that his classmates had made fun of him, but then it became so much bigger.

Tennessee put the boy’s homemade logo on a shirt, and the wave of preorders was massive. There were 16,000 preorders by Sept. 9, and that number had risen to over 50,000 by Sept. 12. The university will not use proceeds from the shirt to fund his scholarship — all the proceeds from the T-shirt will go to the anti-bullying organization STOMP Out Bullying, and the university will pay for the scholarship separately.

The young fan has not been named, but Tennessee officials have spoken to his mother. She told the university how grateful she is, and how deeply touched she and her family have been by the outpouring of support from around the world.

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