Ole Miss’s mascot search supported by students

Samantha Jones, Sports Editor

It is not often that a college goes through a mascot change; after all, the merchandise costs alone are enough to steer any athletics department away from a major cost nightmare.

The University of Tulsa took the plunge in 2009, changing Captain ’Cane from a lovable golden carrot with a cape to an awkward hybrid between the Tick and Jay Leno; even going so far as to create an entire backstory on the new mascot.

However, it is true that a mascot is a very important part to college athletics—certainly no team wants to go around calling themselves slugs, sloths or emus.

It came as no surprise then that after seven years of having no mascot, the University of Mississippi, known as Ole Miss, allowed the students to vote on whether or not to choose a new representative.

For 30 years Colonel Reb was the mascot for Ole Miss, but he went into retirement in 2003.

In what seems to sum up every southern stereotype and caricature, the mascot was an old white southern gentlemen resembling both Mark Twain and the Colonel from the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.

Drawings of the “Ole Miss” logo show him wearing a large cowboy hat and holding onto a cane; all that is missing is a gun and a Confederate flag.  This year, Ole Miss announced that they are opening up a search for a new mascot.

Though nothing has been decided by the committee, a group of students began a campaign to elect Admiral Ackbar as the new mascot.

The Star Wars creature is the leader of the rebel alliance for the Star Wars universe and therefore a perfect fit to lead the Mississippi Rebels, but problems may arise where copyrights are concerned.

The campaign exploded on campus, rallying a lot of student support. The idea quickly became a national affair after it was reported on the gossip show TMZ, spread around Twitter and even reached a brief bit of fame as a top 10 search on www.google.com.

Though George Lucas could not be reached for a comment, the Associated Student Body president came out to stifle any rumors about the galactic commander sitting on the sidelines of an Ole Miss game yelling, “It’s a trap!” to his team.

As the search continues, sports journalists across the nation give a cry of relief that they will not have to spend the next 30 years thinking up ways to incorporate jokes about “the Force being with Ole Miss” during its football season.

On The Web:   http://www.utulsa.edu/collegian/article.asp?article=4519