OXFORD – The University of Mississippi mascot selection committee has narrowed to three the options for a new on-field mascot to replace Colonel Rebel.
On Oct. 6, the mascot committee will release a poll including artists’ depictions of the Rebel Bear, Rebel Land Shark and Hotty Toddy.
The old mascot was retired from the sidelines in 2003, and its licensing as a university trademark was halted this summer. Some Ole Miss supporters and off-campus critics had said Colonel Rebel, a caricature of an Old South gentleman, had negative overtones and did not accurately depict the university today.
Stakeholders, including alumni, students, faculty, staff and season ticket-holders, will once again be asked for their opinions on the concepts. The poll will be located at www.mascot.olemiss.edu.
Mascot selection committee co-chair Margaret Ann Morgan, a sophomore from McComb, said the committee spent a great deal of time reviewing the potential concepts.
“Since the top five Ole Miss Rebel on-field mascot concepts were identified, the committee has been hard at work with the mascot professionals developing graphic depictions of each,” she said.
A committee eliminated two of the concepts. The Rebel Lion was eliminated because, despite a positive response to the play on the word “Rebellion,” the committee felt that there was not a strong enough Mississippi or Ole Miss connection.
The committee also eliminated the Rebel Stallion concept due to the problematic logistics of having a live horse in the stadium or Grove. Members have also spent extra time revamping the Hotty Toddy concept, which has evolved from a pair of characters into one mascot.
“This concept has a strong tie-in to Ole Miss traditions; it is unique, and it has the potential to unify our fan-base,” the committee said. “However, it is important that the ultimate concept be proud and in no way silly, so we have taken more time than anticipated to make sure the concept shown is as strong as it can be.”
One ironic development of late is that last week the Ole Miss student body elected mascot committee co-chair Ty New to the post of Colonel Rebel, one of the highest honors available to a male student at the university.
For more information on the selection process, visit www.mascot.olemiss.edu.
NEMS Daily Journal