Ole Miss chooses new mascot: black bear

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- After all that, it's a bear.

It has been more than a decade since the University of Mississippi began stripping away its images of the Old South. Confederate battle flags -- the "Stars and Bars" -- were first to go. Next was mascot "Colonel Reb," the goateed Southern planter who cheered on the Rebels from the sidelines since 1979.

After seven years and plenty of bickering, his successor was named Thursday: "Rebel Black Bear" won 62 percent of the vote in a final poll and will become the new face of the school's athletic programs.

Tradition dies hard in Oxford, where tens of thousands of fans turn out in ties and sundresses on fall Saturdays for elaborate tailgate parties. An unofficial motto is: "We may lose a game, but we never lose a party."

Picking a replacement became a matter of statewide import.

In the end, the smiling black bear inspired in part by longtime Oxford resident William Faulkner won out, defeating two other nominees: the "Rebel Land Shark," based on the "fins up" hand motion started by late Rebel football player Tony Fein; and the "Hotty Toddy," a gray human-like character that aimed to personify a school cheer.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

  • by D Location: Ohio on Oct 16, 2010 at 07:04 PM
    I didn't know there were black bears in Miss.

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2015 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 104976529 - local8now.com/a?a=104976529
Gray Television, Inc.