My Division II alma mater, when it isn’t losing on national TV (CSTV covered them this week, and as they always do in the national spotlight, IUP lost), is one of the NCAA teams forced to change their mascot from a Native American themed name to something else. I have always found this policy a bit ridiculous, but felt resigned to it because I figured that IUP was going to succumb sooner or later. However, the only reason I write about this small team here is the following:
Following the link above gets you to the IUP mascot choosing website. The three choices are Crimson Thunder, Crimson Hawks, and Gray Wolves. All three, in my opinion, are lame. I fear we are going to see a rash of lame school nicknames in the wake of this decision by the NCAA.
Crimson Thunder? How do you represent THAT? Hawks and Wolves have been overdone. In my opinion, you should only do a mascot that has been done before if you can show its connection to your area. For example, the Miners had been suggested for IUP, which would make sense considering Western Pennsylvania’s heritage in that area. I would have loved to be the Miners. However, Hawks, despite the claim by the naming committee, have no real connection to the area – they just live there. Wolves have been gone for a long time: much longer than Mountain Lions had been gone since Penn State named their sports teams. (Nittany also is a local mountain and refers to the region.)
Seriously, guys, this is lame. I’m going to try to keep an eye on what other schools name themselves in the wake of the NCAA’s decision. We’ve already seen strange things happen: Syracuse went from the Orangemen to the Orange, which is weak. Marquette went from the Golden Warriors to the Golden Eagles, which is a bit weak, especially considering that there are no golden eagles near Marquette. I could tolerate that one, though. However, that was much better than their recent move to screw everyone by just calling their teams “The Golden”.
I’m probably overreacting, but I was hoping IUP could come up with a good mascot. However, I knew from the start that I was hoping for too much. I’ll try to keep you posted on mascot changes throughout the NCAA.
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