A Michigan mascot? Athletic director Dave Brandon is open to the right idea
Michigan is one of only three Big Ten schools without a mascot roaming its athletic events, but athletic director Dave Brandon has put some thought into changing that.
In an article on Michigan Today, an online newsletter for Michigan alumni, Brandon says a mascot can help lure the next generation of Wolverine fans.
From the Michigan Today story, which also includes an extensive look back at Michigan's previous foray into the world of mascots:
"I'm struck by the fact that when opposing teams come to our stadium, and they bring a mascot, all of our young fans are lined up to see if they can get a picture taken with it, whether it's the Penn State Nittany Lion or Sparty," Brandon told Michigan Today. "That's a little annoying to me.
"You can't get your picture taken with a Block M. Mascots are really embraced by the youth demographic and we want to take advantage of that, for all the reasons that are obvious."
Later in the article, Brandon told Michigan Today the biggest barrier is the design:
"We're interested in doing a mascot but it has to be something that fans love, that children love and everyone can embrace," Brandon explained. "So far we haven't figured out a way to do it. Until we come up with something we love, we don't have a mascot."
The Big Ten's mascots include those at Iowa (Herky the Hawk), Michigan State (Sparty), Minnesota (Goldy Gopher), Nebraska (Herbie Husker), Northwestern (Willie the Wildcat), Ohio State (Brutus), Penn State (an unnamed Nittany Lion), Purdue (Purdue Pete) and Wisconsin (Bucky Badger).
Illinois retired its controversial mascot, Chief Illiniwek, in 2007 and joined Indiana and Michigan as the only mascot-less schools in the conference.