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Alumni criticize new mascot choices

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Oct. 9, 2003
Several area Ole Miss graduates said Wednesday they weren't impressed with either of the two candidates selected to replace their school's longtime mascot Colonel Rebel.
The choices include "Rebel Bruiser," a muscle-bound character that resembles Colonel Rebel. He wears a red hat like the current mascot, an "Ole Miss" T-shirt and football pants.
Attorney Larry Primeaux earned his undergraduate degree in 1971 and his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1973.
The school's faculty, staff, dues-paying alumni, Loyalty Foundation members and season ticket holders are allowed to vote online for the mascot they want. Voting continues through until midnight Sunday at www.olemiss.edu/athletics/poll.html.
Lauderdale County Deputy Coroner Clayton Cobler is another Ole Miss alumnus who is picking Rebel Bruiser over Rowdy Rebel.
But other Ole Miss graduates are either so loyal to the Colonel Rebel mascot or so disappointed in the final choices that they don't plan to vote at all.
Anita Jo and Bill Ross are a married couple in town who are dues-paying alumni association members. They were not happy with Bruiser or Rowdy, which were unveiled by university officials on Tuesday.
For Bill, a self-employed businessman and 1961 graduate of Ole Miss, it wouldn't matter what the choices were. He likes Colonel Rebel.
Anonymous complaints
Others who did not want to be quoted expressed their dislike of the new characters.
One person said Rebel Bruiser reminds him of the Looney Tunes rooster Foghorn Leghorn. Another said both characters resemble something that jumped out of the World Wrestling Federation.
Fred Poitevent, a trust officer with Citizens Bank, earned his undergraduate degree in 1971 and his master's degree from Ole Miss in 1973. He thinks the university's energy would be better served in other areas, including academics.
Attorney Walter T. Rogers is an Ole Miss alumnus who said he is thinking of voting.
His law partner, Irvin L. Martin Jr., of Martin, Rogers &Mitts law firm, said his vote will go to Colonel Rebel for the sake of tradition.
Martin said he was at Ole Miss from 1954-1960.

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