Lady Team Nicknames

Mullins, Bill Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Thu Jun 3 23:32:13 UTC 2004

> This naming system was
>introduced to the nation as a whole when, in 1982, the women's
>basketball team of Louisiana Tech [sic] University won the NCAA
>Division I basketball championship. The nickname of the university's
>teams is the "Techsters." Therefore, the women's basketball team,
>dominated by black women, called itself the "_Lady_ Techsters,"
>following the usual black custom. White America, as is so often the
>case, looked upon this black them and found it hip.
>-Wilson Gray

I was at Univ of TN in the early 1980s when we were building into
a national power.  I saw them play LaTech a couple of times (when
you could still get tickets . . . ).  The women's team had been the
"Lady Vols" since 1976, well before 1982.  I think Florida has been
the Lady Gators since the 1973-74 season.

Many other teams were using the "Lady" nickname before 1982,
including in areas with very little black influence (Vermont, Canada).

Isn't it likely that this "system" came into play as schools fielded
women's teams in the 1970's (due to Title IX), not because they were
following a black naming convention, but because it allowed them to
take advantage of brand identities already existing in the men's teams?

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