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Farewell, black bear: Ole Miss announces Landshark as new mascot

Rebel’s tenure as Ole Miss’ mascot is over, effective immediately.

Rebel the black bear is officially no more at Mississippi.

The school said Friday that the student vote to make the Landshark the mascot of the school would be recognized and that Rebel would no longer be the school’s mascot.

We’re intrigued to see what Ole Miss will come up with as a Landshark mascot. The “mystique,” as Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter termed it in an open letter, is recognizable by many college sports fans when an Ole Miss player has put a hand in front of his and her face perpendicularly.

Former Ole Miss basketball player Marshall Henderson does the Landshark hand gesture. (Getty)

Indeed, the growth of the Landshark mystique over the last seven years has been phenomenal with every athletics team embracing it, including such standouts as Marshall Henderson with basketball and Kaitlin Lee with softball, in leading their respective teams to SEC championships.
Today, I’m excited to announce that we will move forward with the Landshark as the official mascot and retire Rebel the Bear.  Athletics will be charged with designing, developing, and launching the Landshark mascot, with an anticipated unveiling before the 2018 season.

While the Landshark won’t be around until next football season, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork told the Clarion-Ledger that Rebel the bear won’t be at Saturday’s game vs. Auburn.

This is the second mascot change for Ole Miss in less than 15 years. The school retired Colonel Reb in 2003 because many felt it was offensive given that mascot’s origins.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!