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Ole Miss Officially Changing Mascot To Landshark Ahead Of 2018 Season

Ole Miss athletics will change its mascot for the second time since 2010 ahead of next season, officially adopting the "Landshark" to replace Rebel the Black Bear.

Just over a week ago, the Ole Miss Associated Student Body voted to make the change to the Landshark, which has been used as an unofficial nickname at times since 2008.

81-percent of the 4,100 students that voted, supported changing from the black bear to the Landshark.

Now, the school is making the change official. From Magnolia State Live:

It’s official: Ole Miss will retire its Rebel the Bear mascot and adopt the Landshark as its official mascot.

Ole Miss Chancellor Dr. Jeff Vitter announced the move in a letter he sent to university stakeholders today. The Landshark is expected to be unveiled before the 2018 season, Dr. Vitter said.

Vitter also clarified that while the mascot itself is changing, Ole Miss will remain the Rebels.

“…I want to state unequivocally that we are — and always will be — the Ole Miss Rebels. And I am asking all Rebels to unite around our new Landshark mascot,” Dr. Vitter said in the letter.

The Landshark first emerged in 2008, when former Ole Miss linebacker Tony Fein made a shark-fin hand gesture after making a big stop on Florida superstar Tim Tebow. From there, it became a nickname for the Ole Miss football defense, and has since been embraced by other Ole Miss teams.

Ole Miss retired controversial mascot Colonel Reb in 2003, eventually replacing him with Rebel the Black Bear in 2010.

The Rebels will be the only FBS program with a shark as its primary mascot.

[Magnolia State Live]