published Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

UT: Prayer before games not unconstitutional

Neyland Stadium before a football game photographed on Sept. 15, 2012. (Adam Brimer/News Sentinel)
Neyland Stadium before a football game photographed on Sept. 15, 2012. (Adam Brimer/News Sentinel)
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Praying before football games at Neyland Stadium does not violate the U.S. Constitution, University of Tennessee officials said Tuesday.

The university is still formulating its response to a cease-and-desist letter sent last week by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but the administration does not believe there is anything wrong with the long-standing tradition of a pre-kickoff invocation, said Margie Nichols, vice chancellor for communications.

The letter arrived about a week after UT-Chattanooga announced it would replace prayer with a moment of silence before games in response to a complaint from the foundation.

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