Ole Miss mascot poll draws 12,000-plus votes

OXFORD – Thousands of University of Mississippi stakeholders gave feedback about 11 possibilities for an on-field mascot at the University of Mississippi by the time the nine-day polling period ended on Tuesday afternoon.
“As of (Tuesday) morning, we had over 12,000 people participating, including over 5,000 students,” said Margaret Ann Morgan, a chairwoman of the mascot selection committee. The poll was open to students, staff, faculty, Alumni Association members and season ticketholders.
A plurality of Ole Miss students voted in February to participate in a process to select a new on-field mascot to replace Colonel Reb, a longtime university symbol that was removed from the sidelines in 2003. Some criticized the character as racially insensitive because he was often seen as an Old South plantation owner, while others asserted that such an assumption was overreaching.
Respondents to the just-completed survey were able to rate each of 11 concepts chosen from among more than 1,000 submissions and to leave short comments. The committee will meet next week to begin digesting the responses, several of which will be submitted to mascot professionals for development of artists’ renderings and back stories.
Morgan said the opinions she has heard have ranged throughout the 11 possibilities.
“When I was asking people, it was all over the board,” she said.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal