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Hotty Toddy brouhaha

University of Mississippi officials — or more specificallyChancellor Robert Khayat and Athletic Director Pete Boone — havecalled off their search for a mascot to replace Colonel Rebel.Well, for today, anyway.

It was just over two weeks ago that the officials said theColonel’s makeover had been put on hold indefinitely because theathletics committee was “not enthusiastic” about three proposed newlooks.

That was followed last Monday by the announcement that schoolbackers could vote for two new versions of the Colonel in an onlinepoll. The choices — Rebel Bruiser, described by some as lookinglike the old Colonel on steroids, and Rowdy Rebel, described bydetractors as looking like Mr. Clean on steroids, did not haveRebel supporters singing Hotty Toddy. The voting was stopped afterthree days.

”It is clear from the responses received and from generalpublic discussion that there is no community support for either ofthe proposed mascots,” Chancellor Khayat said. ”Therefore, thematter is closed.”

From now on, Ole Miss will have no on-field mascot for sportingevents. The university will continue to license merchandise withthe current Colonel Rebel.

The brouhaha over Colonel Rebel has turned into a publicrelations nightmare for Ole Miss. We hope the issue has finallybeen put to rest and the university’s full attention can be focusedon what’s important — education.