A student committee says it's time for the University of Illinois to start thinking about a new mascot.
- Julie Wurth, The News-Gazette
Before I start discussing this particular story, I'd like to make it abundantly clear that Illinois is not actively looking for a new mascot. This is simply just a group of students presenting some possible advantages with such a move. Ok -- we'll all remember this in the comments then? Great, thanks.
A report from this Ad Hoc Committee is recommending that the University "put forth a process to select a new mascot." That's fine -- a huge majority of current students (you know, the important demographic) don't even remember what having a mascot was like. So, hey, this actually may not be that bad of a proposal so long as Illinois avoids any embarrassing ideas! What could possibly go wro--
The committee didn't endorse any particular mascot options, but discussed the advantages of imagery such as Sassy the Squirrel
and former Illini great Harold "Red" Grange.
For those that aren't familiar with 'Sassy the Squirrel', it's an actual mascot that's already used as a marketing tool by Illinois to attract new students. In fact, it even has a Twitter.
#MyTopCollege has to be @Illinois_Alma because I made its iconic Quad my home! @forbes pic.twitter.com/XKY1EYaoZU— Sassy The Squirrel (@sassyillini) July 23, 2015
Coming soon: Sassy the Squirrel's tweets, ranked
Shirts with the squirrel's image have sold out at the Illini Union Bookstore, and that alone is apparently enough for it to warrant consideration as the full-time mascot.
Here is my response to this abomination.
10 reasons why 'Sassy the Squirrel' would be a terrible, no good, lousy mascot
- Sassy would, hands down, be the most embarrasing mascot in D-1 athletics.
- There is literally nothing special about the squirrels at Illinois.
- Sassy isn't even a badass flying squirrel.
- Sassy will 100% give you the Bubonic Plague.
- Sassy will bury the football in preparation for Winter.
- Sassy is a fucking squirrel.
- Squirrels have been known to gang up and attack larger animals (i.e. humans).
- Zoos don't even have exhibits for squirrels.
- You would totally be dumb enough to waste your money on a squirrel shirt.
- Your significant other would leave you after seeing the bill for a squirrel shirt.
"I know he’s got a great reputation. I’m happy for Illinois, and I think it’s great for our conference. I’m sure there are a lot of new experiences for Coach [Lovie] Smith."
- Urban Meyer via The News-Gazette
The Big Ten football coaches participated in a Spring teleconference last week, and The News-Gazette's Bob Asmussen asked each one what they though of the Lovie Smith hire. Their reactions were pretty much what you'd expect them to be, but it's still pretty cool to see Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, Mark Dantonio, etc. praising the hire.
Also, Pat Fitzgerald had this to say:
"I’m really excited for Lovie. He’s been a great friend and always great for our program when he was up in Lake Forest. I’ll be excited for him in every game but one."
Illinois Men's Golf takes Boilermaker Invitational Trophy, wins second-straight tournament title
For those of you that haven't been keeping up with the nation's best golf team, Illinois is just destroying worlds right now. The squad notched a seven-stroke victory in West Lafayette to earn their seventh regular season tournament title this year.
That's an #Illini victory at #Boiler16! pic.twitter.com/xMQYtzLVot— Illini M Golf (@IlliniMGolf) April 17, 2016
Here's what head coach Mike Small had to say on his program's latest victory:
"Any time we can get a win we are happy. Winning is a habit that we take pride in, and our goal is to win every week. Winning is an expectation that we're comfortable with, although we realize that winning is a product of our play. As a coach, I'm thankful for a big lead this weekend. We didn't have our best today, but it was good enough to hold on for the win. There were some good teams there that played well today and put some heat on us, we need to continue to make closing out tournaments a priority."
Other News & Notes
- Oregon State played a football game on a field with an active construction site
- NCAA's new social media rules a mess for coaches?
- Head coaches all across the country have problems with the ban on satellite camps
- Ranking all 67 games of the 2016 NCAA Tournament
- Vin Scully shared an incredible story about Madison Bumgarner during a game