Apparently no one has a sense of humor any more.
TMZ is reporting (wow … do those two words belong together?) that some students are failing to find the humor in the Admiral Ackbar for Ole Miss mascot joke. Apparently some students have proclaimed they will leave the school if the Star Wars character becomes the school mascot, while parents of potential future students are saying they would send their children to the school.
Despite the online support for this, does anyone really think that a university is going to let a copyrighted character they don’t own become the mascot? There is a very simple reason this will never happen: money.
First, the school would have to pay a licensing fee to Lucasfilm to use the Admiral’s likeness. Schools don’t typically like giving up money for such things, so it is highly unlikely Ole Miss is going to want to shell out the kind of dough George Lucas would want.
Secondly is the sale of mascot related merchandise. Ole Miss would have to pay a royalty on every item sold with Ackbar’s likeness on it. Hoodies, cup holders, shirts, mouse pads, plush toys, all the chotskies that a school normally sells. Currently schools get all that money, do you think they really will want to split that cash cow with some Hollywood film director? Nope.
The only positive in all of this is the sales to die-hard fans of the films would suddenly be really interested in the university and everything they sell with the character on it, but would that make up for the royalties and potential lost tuition fees? Doubtful.
Folks, this is a joke. No one honestly believes a fish creature from a 1980′s movie is going to become the mascot for Ole Miss. You are all getting worked up over a student joke. Back in the 1990′s I worked on an alternative college newspaper, and while the school was taking votes to change its name from Northeast Missouri State University to something else (it eventually became Truman State University), we were pushing for “Missouri State University at Kirksville” … or MSUK. It amazed me back then how many people took that seriously. ”Well, we’re trying to get away from sounding regional …” our reply was “How does MSUK sound regional?”, hoping they would finally get the joke … they didn’t.
So, please, everyone just chill out and enjoy the humor for crying out loud.