By Matt Coffelt
In a press conference on Tuesday morning, South Eastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey said the conference is moving forward with name changes for three teams to promote more diversity among SEC schools.
“The SEC is continually committed to promoting diversity. It is necessary for our collegiate atmospheres to continue to evolve in order to offer the best experiences possible to our students,” Sankey said. “The SEC is the greatest college football conference in the world and to maintain that title, the SEC can no longer abide so many of its member schools having duplicate mascots. The Yankees up North are laughing at us Southern Folk saying we aren’t creative at all.”
This new policy refers to three schools(Louisiana State, Auburn, and Missouri) who currently have a Tiger as their mascot and two others (Georgia and Mississippi State) who share the Bulldog. In order to accommodate this executive order, 3 schools will have to change their mascot.
The LSU and Missouri mascots date back to the Civil War. Soldiers from Louisiana and Missouri were called Tigers because of their ferocious reputation on the battlefield. Auburn says their team name comes from an Oliver Goldsmith poem entitled “The Deserted Village” written in 1770.
Mississippi State has used several names in the past such as the “Maroons” or “Aggies.” The university formerly adopted the name “Bulldogs” when the school was granted university status in the 1930’s. Georgia’s mascot was originally a goat and then two years later a white bull terrier. The school formerly adopted the name “Bulldogs” in the 1930’s.
When asked which schools would be permitted to keep their current mascot and which schools would have to select a new one, Sankey said the conference has not selected the best criteria to make an impartial decision.
“We haven’t ironed out the nitty gritty yet,” Stankey said when questioned about details on the plan. “The two leading options are allowing my boss, Nick Saban, to decide or making the head coaches fight it out in a cage match. All I know is that both LSU and Mizzou both got their mascots from the Civil War, and we’ll be following the Ole Miss example of moving away from these archaic symbols of the hatred and the past.”
When asked for comment, new LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron said, “De quoi parle cet homme avec le micro?”
It is assumed he was answering in his native Creole, or something, and was greatly upset by the move and potential threat to his school’s heritage. Other LSU fan expressed outrage over the proposed change. One fan said the name was about the state’s heritage, not hatred and resistance to the federal government. One man who is happy about the potential name change is LSU Athletic Director, Joe Alleva.
“LSU fans are the best and most loyal fans in the world,” Alleva said. “We can use this opportunity to sell each one of our fans new merchandise with the new name and sell vintage LSU Tigers gear at a huge mark up. With that extra money we can finally install an effective security system for our stadium and LSU will be able to commission a study on how to complete a forward pass. I guarantee the name change will be a huge financial windfall to our football program and I promise none of the money will go towards book learning or fixing the glory holes in the library.”
No official timeline for the transition was announced at the press conference, but Sankey did suggest that it would be effective sometime between the end of spring football practices and the start of the football season when the fewest possible collegiate fans would be paying attention. LSU, Auburn, Missouri, Georgia, and Mississippi State are already reaching out to alums and students about a possible name change.