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Team UT 2009


A group of UT Knoxville graduate and undergraduate students who make up "Team UT" will travel to Tampa, Fla., to work behind the scenes at Super Bowl XLIII featuring the Arizona Cardinals versus the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 1.

Students from UT’s College of Business Administration, College of Education, Health and Human Sciences and College of Communication and Information are on the team. They will be conducting research to learn how a large-scale sporting event is prepared and carried out.

The students also will be blogging and posting photos and videos of their Super Bowl experiences on Team UT’s Web site, http://web.utk.edu/~ahardin8/TEAM_UT/.

This is the third year that a team from UT has worked at the Super Bowl.

Fritz G. Polite, assistant professor of sport management and director of the Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Diversity (I-LEAD), will lead Team UT.

"This is a great opportunity for our students," Polite said. "We are one of the few universities across the country that offers these types of unique experiences. I am proud of them and blessed to be a member of TEAM UT."

Participating graduate students from the College of Business Administration include Arthur vonWerssowetz and Danielle Lundy. Graduate students Chanel Lattimer and Angie Taylor will represent the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

The two participating undergraduate students are Amber Harding, from the College of Communication and Information, and David Cooley, from the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

A student and a faculty member from the University of Georgia — Christina Baker, graduate student in sport management, and Billy Hawkins, associate professor of physical education and sport studies — also will be part of the team. UT alumnus Kyle Blackburn, who graduated last year and who went on a previous Team UT Super Bowl trip, will be going along, too.

Harding said one of her jobs will be to help document the group’s experiences.

"Not too many people can say they’ve been to the Super Bowl," Harding said. "After this trip, we will be able to say that we have not only been there, but we have also worked behind the scenes.

"As a journalism student and huge football fan, this opportunity is priceless for me. I’ll get to work on my writing, my photography, my filming and my video editing skills, and I’ll get to do it at one of the largest and most exciting sporting events in the world."