The following are the criteria by which former student-athletes will be eligible for the honor of jersey retirement at the University of Tennessee:
- The student-athlete must have demonstrated outstanding character, integrity, and commitment to the University of Tennessee during his/her athletic career.
- Any student-athlete under consideration must have graduated or have left the University in good academic standing, which would have made them eligible to return and compete.
- Former student-athletes are eligible for this honor five years after exhausting their eligibility. If they left school early without exhausting their eligibility, they are eligible eight years after leaving UT.
- Extenuating circumstances may be considered by the committee, and modifications of the policy may be considered under such circumstances by mutual agreement of the Faculty Athletics Representative and the Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics.
A student-athlete will be eligible for consideration if they achieve three of the five criteria listed below:
- SEC Player of the Year
- National Award (Player of the Year, Sullivan, or similar honor)
- First-Team All-American
- Career record holder in a significant category (as determined by the committee) at the UT, SEC, or national level upon completion of career
- National championship during tenure
There is a nominating committee that will determine when an individual will be honored with a retired jersey, and any member of the committee can bring a nomination. The composition of that committee includes the Faculty Athletics Representative, Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics, the sport administrator of the selected sport, the media relations contact for selected sport or the associate athletics director/communications (or designee), and the senior woman administrator.
The honor of jersey retirement shall be bestowed to an individual only by unanimous vote of the nominating committee. The committee shall also have the ability based on accomplishments/impact at UT (UT Personnel only) to honor non-student-athletes in a similar manner.