The search for a new mascot for the University of Mississippi enters another phase Monday when students, alumni and faculty will vote online on their top choices.
The Ole Miss Mascot Selection Committee has received more than 1,000 mascot idea submissions. The list will be narrowed to 11 after the online voting ends July 5.
The vote is open to students, staff, faculty, football season ticket holders and members of the alumni association. They’ll choose among the mascot suggestions on a website, using a code.
There will be a separate page for the public to view the submissions, said Ty New, an Ole Miss senior from Olive Branch and co-chairman of the selection committee.
Students voted Feb. 22 to pursue a new mascot to replace Colonel Reb, a caricature of an antebellum Southern planter. The other option was to leave the Oxford campus without an on-field mascot, as it has been for about seven years.
The Ole Miss teams’ nickname will remain Rebels.
“I’m just ready for it to be over with, honestly, and everyone to get past it and get ready for football season,” said Hardy Farris, a senior from Vicksburg. “I know all the coaches are excited about it.”
New said the goal is to have a mascot chosen by football season. New wouldn’t reveal any details about what’s been submitted out of risk of “anything going viral.”
He said the new mascot must be tied to the university in some way “so people can connect with it.”
After next week’s vote, the committee will decide which ideas will be developed further as color drawings. Then, another vote will be taken after students return to campus this fall.
Shelia Byrd/The Associated Press