UPDATE: Ole Miss students to vote on mascot

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Colonel Reb is not in the running, but students at the University of Mississippi will likely voice their collective preference about having a new on-field mascot.

According to the Daily Mississippian, the Associated Student Body voted Wednesday to hold an election to indicate whether most Ole Miss students would prefer development of a new mascot or continuing to have none on the sidelines during athletic events.

Colonel Reb, the university’s long-time Southern gentleman character, was retired in 2003 because of perceptions that he represented Old South elements from which the university was trying to distance itself. That decision was one of the most unpopular of the 14-year tenure of Chancellor Robert Khayat but was supported by some of the university’s highest-profile supporters. Critics of the decision said the mascot was actually based on Blind Jim Ivy, a black Oxonian who attended Ole Miss games in the early 1900s wearing a three-piece suit and a dapper hat.

Read more in Friday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.