From 1961 to 1973, women’s athletics teams operated as sports clubs through the Student Aquatic Center. Basketball and volleyball had competed as club sports since 1961; tennis since 1963; field hockey and track and field since 1969; and badminton, gymnastics, and swimming since 1972. Under the Sports Club concept, funds for all 36 clubs were allocated by the program and could be used for travel, uniforms, printing, transportation, and equipment, but could not be used for food or lodging. Each of the clubs was appropriated a certain amount of money—ranging at the time from $100 to $250.
On August 10, 1973, Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Howard Aldmon announced that the Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics Program would be funded with $20,000—from unrestricted gifts to UT—and would be moved from the Sports Club umbrella to the Physical Education Department in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. The funds were to support uniforms, equipment, travel, and coaches in seven sports: basketball, volleyball, tennis, track and field, field hockey, swimming, and gymnastics. Vice Chancellor Aldmon had general responsibility for the program, and Dr. Nancy Lay, associate professor of Physical Education, was named coordinator of the program. Coaches for the teams were announced as Donna Donnelly, instructor, gymnastics; Jean Lewis, assistant professor, field hockey; Kay Hart, assistant professor, volleyball; Margaret Hutson, instructor, basketball; Terry Hull Crawford, instructor, track and field; and Ida Ezell, graduate assistant, swimming.
Under the new system of institutional allocation of funds, money provided to each sport could be used in the way the coaches and coordinator determined would be the best use of funds.