The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Loyola changes mascot to Fighting Popes

For years, the athletic teams at Loyola University Maryland (formerly Loyola College) have been nicknamed the Greyhounds, and despite the popularity of Iggy the Greyhound and the late Nicholas III, that is about to change.
As of today the mascot of Loyola has been officially changed to the Fighting Popes, according to University President Lion Brinnane.
The change in mascots is being made to honor Pope Francis, a Jesuit, who will be stepping down from the Vatican to take over the presidency of Loyola University this fall, says Brinnane. “I believe this change will be overwhelmingly celebrated by the student body,” Brinnane said, “His Holiness is a powerful symbol that will strike fear into the hearts of our opponents.”
The process of changing a well-established mascot is not an easy undertaking; it requires completely changing the culture of the student body and alumni, not to mention the fiscal cost of changing signage and branding. The concept of changing a school’s mascot is not unheard of: a number of schools in recent years have changed their nicknames for a variety of reasons.
In 1998, Miami of Ohio changed their mascot from the “Redskins” to its current nickname, the “Redhawks,” in the midst of controversy over the use of imagery that was offensive to Native Americans.
Colonel Reb, the former mascot of the Ole Miss Rebels was discontinued in 2003 and later replaced with Rebel Black Bear. The shift in mascots at Ole Miss has been met with opposition, even 10 years after the switch took place Colonel Reb is still a large part of Ole Miss football tradition, albeit unofficially.
For Father Brinnane and Loyola, it is important that the change in mascots here be a much smoother process and that the old Greyhound moniker be quickly forgotten.The administration has created a plan to facilitate this process. To quickly shift the image of Loyola’s athletic teams the school has instituted a new policy, known as the “Francis Policy.”
The new policy states that, effective immediately the school colors will be changed from the traditional green and grey to silver, red and gold. Additionally, the Argentine flag will fly over the University, and the Argentinian national anthem will be played before home sporting events to honor the heritage of Pope Francis. The varsity “L” logo that has been a symbol for Loyola Athletics will be replaced with a silhouette of Francis’ face on a red background.
The Francis Policy also includes a cease and desist clause: any mention of the words Greyhound, Iggy, Hounds, green, grey, dog, canine, kibbles, bone, puppy, adorable, woof, bark, Squirrel!, fetch, fire hydrant, horndog, dogma, Pavlov, or the phrase “I’m a dog person” is strictly prohibited and punishable by fines and other sanctions. All logo wear that contains any reference to the previous mascot or school colors is banned from campus.
Members of the 2012 national champion lacrosse team will be required to turn in their championship rings and will be issued replacements decorated with the crest of Pope Francis.
The 30-foot-tall inflatable Iggy at the Ridley Athletic Complex will be replaced with a live Pope Francis impersonator. The part will be played by Loyola’s own Father Nash.
Overall, the change has been taken positively by most administrators and athletic department personnel. Athletic Director Joe Coquette was surprised by how quickly the changes would be put into place, stating that “it would have been helpful to have the summer to put most of these policies into effect, replacing all the signage and uniforms in the middle of lacrosse season is going to be a difficult task.”
The Popes will debut their new gear this Saturday when the men’s lacrosse team takes on Navy in Annapolis and the women’s team travels to Colgate. This gives the Athletic department a little over a week to change all the signage at the Ridley Athletic Complex before women’s lacrosse returns home for a Wednesday night showdown with American University.
“It’s going to be a busy few weeks for us here but I think we can get it finished in time for the students to see the Popes take the field,” said Coquette.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Loyola changes mascot to Fighting Popes