Friday, October 10, 2003

When In Doubt, Cave

Ole Miss administrators, dismayed over the tepid response to their lame efforts at sweeping something distasteful under the rug, have pulled the plug. Apparently heeding calls from some quarters, there will now be no mascot on the field at University of Mississippi games. Thanks to Chris for the heads-up.

The reason cited was a huge disinterest on the part of the invited voters. Only 2400 out of 40,000 possible voters participated. The administration took this as a sign of the lameness of their choices, which is certainly true, but I think there's something else at work here. If I recall correctly, there was a poll recently on campus (sorry I can't find the link) that found most students were content to leave things as they were. Given that, the lack of voter participation is a rejection of the false choices being given in the poll. It would likely have been better, though not for the anti-Colonel forces, to have asked again if they wanted to keep their mascot.

Reading the whole article, there's some interesting stuff buried near the end.
Boone did comment on the rumors spreading that anyone could vote illegally.

He said just because someone could cast a vote does not mean that person's vote would count. Season ticket holders and UM Loyalty Foundation members are listed on a computer database, which after a vote was cast, the database would scan to see if there was a match between the voter and a name on the list.

"We thought the best way was to allow people to vote in those two categories, no matter what they put in," Boone said. "Whenever they do it, the computer would flag those and delete those that did not match up with what the database had."
I suppose they also compared student votes against the student database. This is interesting as it also means they have a list of everyone who voted and what their choice was! Is this the usual way of doing these kinds of things at Ole Miss? It begins to shade close to Big Brotheresque thoughts of flagging those who make the "wrong" choice.

There was also this:
Boone in a previous interview said the same artist who created Rebel Bruiser, the artist whom the athletic department approached to submit an idea after the contest was over, had created an image at least a year earlier with Rebel Bruiser holding a bulldog by the neck.

Boone did not mention during that interview that the image he described was already being sold.

"I regret that this has become such a divisive issue," Boone said in the press release.

"It is now time to move forward."
Oh yeah! "Move along. Nothing to look at here." Was someone doing a little bit of friendly steering here? This might bear a bit of examination, if only to put some heat on Boone and turn him away from getting rid of the Colonel for now.

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