UT Officials Plan To Continue Pre-Game Prayers - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

UT Officials Plan To Continue Pre-Game Prayers

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(Photo Credit: Knoxville News Sentinel) (Photo Credit: Knoxville News Sentinel)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee officials have defended their decision to have a prayer before football games at Neyland Stadium, saying it does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, the university has prepared a formal response to a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The group sent a letter to Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy Cheek asking that the school stop holding public prayers at university functions and sporting events.

The organization said it promotes the separation of church and state wants Tennessee to stop having a clergy member pray over the Neyland Stadium loudspeaker before Volunteers' football games.

University spokesperson Margie Nichols said Tuesday the administration believes there is no reason to halt the tradition of a pre-kickoff invocation.

The complaint letter from the Madison, Wisconsin, atheist group arrived last week. An invocation was offered Saturday night before UT's game against Florida.

The letter from the group points that UT-Chattanooga decided last week to stop its use of pregame prayer. Chattanooga officials decided to observe a moment of silence instead of having a spoken prayer before its home football games.

(NewsChannel5 and The Associated Press.)

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