"Why a rebel black bear?"
That's the question many Ole Miss fans are asking. The school's old mascot, Colonel Reb, was retired from the sidelines in 2003 because of the perception he represented Old South elements.
After months of voting, Colonel Rebel has been replaced with a rebel black bear.
University employees, alumni, and season ticket holders had the chance to vote on the final three mascots. And with the official one unveiled, some football fans say they believe change is not all that bad.
"I really don't think it matters at all. I don't see why it would," said Fernando Mejia. "A lot of teams have changed their mascots and it really shouldn't make a difference. I think change is good."
Try telling that to Ole Miss fans like Debra Allen and Sarah Pearson. They say Colonel Rebel represents school tradition.
"I just don't understand why they're doing it," said Allen. "We've had the same rebel mascot for years and years now. So why all of a sudden go from what it has been to this new mascot? I just don't understand."
"I think, you know, when you think of Ole Miss, you think of the rebel," said Pearson. "So, I don't like it at all,l but I will keep cheering for them."
And although Allen isn't a fan of the new mascot either, she intends to cheer on the team as well.
Fan or not, 2003 was the end for Colonel Rebel and 2010 is the beginning for the rebel black bear.