University of Utah Changes Fight Song Lyrics from 'Man' to 'Fan'

SALT LAKE CITY - University of Utah football fans will be singing different words to their century-old fight song this autumn after the school changed the lyrics to be more inclusive of women and minorities, officials said Wednesday. Student body officers had expressed concerns over the "I am a Utah man" song, written in 1904 by a former football coach, saying some of its lyrics could be seen as sexist or racist.

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The line: "Our coeds are the fairest" will be replaced by "our students are the finest," and "no other gang of college men" is being changed to "no rival band of college fans." Throughout the four-verse anthem, students will have a choice of using the word "fan" or "man," according to the university. The changes came after a task force was set up earlier this year by the university's president, David Pershing, to seek public input. "When printed officially by the university, this 2014 version of the fight song will be used, but historical renditions of the song will always be acceptable," Pershing said in a statement. "We encourage you to sing — loudly and with pride — whichever version resonates with you."

Image: Utah players celebrate after game against Colorado on Nov. 30
Utah players celebrate after their football game against Colorado in Salt Lake City on Nov. 30, 2013. Rick Bowmer / AP, file
- Reuters