Friday, August 12, 2022

University Student Starts Petition to Change Ole Miss’ Mascot to Landsharks

Photo by Callie Daniels Bryant (2014)
Photo by Callie Daniels Bryant (2014)

For five years since October 2010, Rebel the Black Bear has been Ole Miss’ official mascot. However, many fans continue to disagree with the Ole Miss Mascot Selection Committee for choosing the black bear.

Sam Fowlkes, a student at the University of Mississippi, joins the dissenters. He has started a petition on to change the Ole Miss’ official mascot to the Landsharks.

He wrote below:

“Everywhere you look on gameday in Oxford, the story is all about the Landshark. Whether it is in the defense making plays, the hype video, the flag waving, or even the fan cams, the landshark is an embodiment of the team and the University. This petition is a preliminary attempt to gather interest from the student body and alumni on potentially associating the Landshark with the University of Mississippi. The only apparent association with Ole Miss and the Black Bear is the mascot on the field; however, this petition and further actions are not an attempt to undo the past or any work done on the previous mascots. The Landshark has a distinct relationship to the students, faculty, and alumni, and I am trying to determine if there is enough support for me to pursue future actions. With your help, I can present the ASB senate with a tangible petition showing support, where we can then determine future actions on changing of the mascot.”

As of 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30, the petition has 3,326 signatures with 1,647 more needed to reach 5,000.

To understand the story behind the Landsharks, read this feature on Tony Fein, the original Landshark. As the Ole Miss linebacker back in 2008, he threw the first Fins Up on national camera during the Ole Miss – Florida game.

Since then, the Fins Up and the Landsharks have been the unofficial part of the Ole Miss fandom.

Sam Fowlkes has been reached for a statement.

Correction: His name is Sam Fowlkes, not Fowlker.

Callie Daniels Bryant is the senior managing editor at She can be reached at

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