Statement on Tennessee Volunteers Resolution
January 19, 1999
Mr. President, it is with great pride that I rise to acknowledge another NCAA National Championship for the University of Tennessee. Last year, I had the opportunity to congratulate the
Tennessee Lady Vols on their third straight national women's basketball title, but just two weeks ago, the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team defeated the Seminoles of Florida State
University in the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona, to become the undisputed champions of college football.
It was a perfect ending to a perfect season; a season of thirteen wins and zero losses; a season in
which this national championship team pulled together to overcome tremendous adversity, including the loss of key starters to the National Football League, the loss of a Heisman Trophy candidate to
a season-ending injury, and arguably the most challenging schedule in collegiate football, to attain the national title.
Today, along with my fellow Volunteer fan, Senator Thompson, I introduce this
sense-of-the-Senate resolution recognizing the University of Tennessee Volunteers for their commitment to excellence, for their dedication, for their selflessness, and for their sportsmanship throughout the 1998 football season.
Mr. President, I, along with my fellow Tennesseans, watched with pride as the Volunteers marched their way through the 1998 football season setting numerous school records, Southeastern
Conference records, and NCAA records. For players, coaches, and fans, it was indeed a remarkable season full of excitement, anxiety, and joy. From Jeff Hall's last-second field goal in the
opening game to defeat Syracuse, to Peerless Price's spectacular touchdown receptions against Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl, the Vols proved again and again that they can deliver in the clutch in a manner befitting a champion.
Throughout the season, the Volunteers functioned as a cohesive unit, rather than relying on only a few star players. Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer, the winningest active coach in college football,
put it best when he said, "It's been an unbelievable effort...It's amazing what you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit." Truly a testament to the selflessness and determination of
this national championship team.
In closing, I would like to congratulate the team, Coach Fulmer and his assistant coaches, and the
outstanding faculty and staff of the University of Tennessee, all of whom contributed to this championship season. Finally, I would like to recognize the most important group, the group in
which I am honored to be included, the Tennessee Volunteer fans.