College sports are huge, no doubt. What happens when your alma mater or your school changes names, mascots, or nicknames?
In 1997, Wright State University changed their Raider mascot to a wolf from a viking. Also in that same time frame, Miami University (in Oxford, Ohio) changed from Redskins to RedHawks. Add Ole Miss to the list.
To distinguish themselves out of the old South traditions, the University of Mississippi has replaced the Colonel with a black bear. The original icon wasn’t the only tradition to be stopped. In 1997, Ole Miss stopped their tradition of waving the Confederate flag and have even banned their band from playing “From Dixie with Love.”
The tale of the bear actually came from a hunt by Teddy Roosevelt and also by Nobel Peace Prize winner William Faulkner (nicknamed “The Bear”.)
To be honest, it’s not a bad transition from a Southern Rebel to a bear. There does lie a story on the bear, like I previously mentioned. Also, this was the popular choice with students as nearly 60% of the voters picked the black bear over a land shark and something representing the “Hotty Totty.”
How will this translate into the rest of the SEC? Of course, this is just an image change but who knows what will happen. Will it be widely received in the world of Division I college sports?
Sorry about the short article, but I thought it was interesting to talk about. Until next time.