Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

February 14, 2013

Mascot name change is hot topic

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — Many of our readers have expressed concern about the likelihood of a mascot name change at Cooperstown Central School. 

We are not going to pick a side on this issue, as we have found great passion on both ends of the argument. More than a hundred people showed up at the district’s board of education meeting to have their voices heard — a gathering of that size does not happen often.

We feel the community is pretty evenly divided on this topic and we can hope it will be resolved civilly and not put people against one another. There are even competing pages on Facebook. 

We would like to hit on another issue that many of our readers have brought up in result of the possible nickname change. Many want to know what sort of financial impacts may come along if a new mascot and name is decided on. People, especially district taxpayers, have a right to know, and this is why we got it “straight from the horse’s mouth” so to speak. 

Superintendent C.J. Hebert said the Redskins name is on relatively few sport’s uniforms. However, he said the ones that do have the moniker will need to be replaced and or phased out. The athletic director is researching what the costs would be, he added. 

So do we have a real answer? Not really. But at least it looks like the school may take its time and not hit everyone’s pocketbooks all at one. 

As far as merchandise — Hebert said the district is not in the business of providing goods for profit. He said groups such as the Booster Club and Student Council come up with items to sell and may have to come up with new terms and designs for goods. 

Alumni and students may want to keep their items with the Redskins name on it because it is possible the goods may become collectibles. 

Do not expect the school to get rid of everything with the Redskins name on it if a change is made. The school certainly should not be expected to — as these items are a part of history and show school pride and accomplishment. Hebert said items such as championship banners will continue to hang in the gymnasium. 

“We have no interest of being revisionists,” he said. 

However, although Hebert has said in the past that he would not anticipate a change in the district’s logo, he did admit it is not totally out of the question. 

Hebert said there are two things to consider: What is the nickname the district will have and will the logo have to be changed so it is not incongruous with that name. 

“We really have not had any conversations on this,” he said.   

We are pretty much certain a change in the logo, which features a silhouette of the famous “Indian Hunter” statue by John Quincy Adams Ward in Lakefront Park in Cooperstown, would cause even more stir in the community. Most can handle only so much change at once and it holds sentimental value — possibly even more so than the name Redskins. 

The debate of whether the school should change its nickname is far from over. Hebert said the topic will most likely show up on the next board of education agenda. The next meeting is scheduled for March 6. Ultimately the decision rests in the hands of the Board of Education.