One solution to an old Hoosier question

Everyone who is reading this most likely would swear by the fact that they are a “Hoosier.” Yet they would be hard pressed to actually tell you what a Hoosier is, besides saying “someone from Indiana.”

This is the most likely reason the Indiana Hoosiers have never sported a mascot. Although most big time athletic programs swear by the costumed cheerleaders, the Hoosiers have remained mascot-less.

But today I heard what might be the best solution to the Hoosier’s mascot woes. I was getting my hair cut at the Razor’s Image, which is home to Hershel Tieman, barber and legendary Hoosier fan.

To sum up the conversation, Hershel asked me what is the most famous sports movie of all-time? I (of course), answered “Hoosiers” correctly.

“And what was the team’s name in ‘Hoosiers?’” Hershel asked.

This is where I went blank. I choked like Nick Anderson.

“Hickory. Hickory High School,” he said.

Hershel proceed to explain that the movie “Hoosiers” is so closely associated with the IU Hoosiers that most people think of them together. So why couldn’t the Hoosiers adopt a mascot in the form of Hickory?

The way Hershel sees it, IU’s next mascot should be a hickory nut.

“And,” Hershel said. “I’ve already got the motto and everything.”

The Hoosiers are a tough nut to crack.

Hershel said the Hoosiers could drum up the hickory angle by saying they are “tough” just like the hickory.

With the hickory mascot in place, the Hoosiers would be able to give their new basketball program a face, and someone to replace the screaming male cheerleaders and loud music.

Hershel wanted me to get out his idea and see if anyone agreed. If you like Hershel’s idea or have one of your own, let me know.


  1. 2 years ago there was a strong movement to adopt the American Bison as the official IU mascot. The animal had been purchased and money (private) was available for upkeep, feeding and year round shelter.

    The “keepers” were to be IU students.

    The idea went up the chain, but if there was some official anouncement of rejection about the American Bison, I didn’t hear it.

  2. I can remember that there used to be an image, and sometimes used, of a tough looking bison in a red sweater with a block letter I . I’ve never understood why this has never been adopted as the official mascot. I t seems like that would be perfect. Bison used to be native to Indiana and it is on our state seal, so why not go with the Hoosier Bison.

  3. Too close to a buckeye or a sycamore if you ask me. We have our identity; it lies in our candy striped paints, nameless jerseys and banners in the hall. No need to break tradition here. Heaven knows we don’t need another manufactured mascot on the level of Purdue Pete (worst in the Big Ten imho) roaming our sidelines.

  4. Why adopt a mascot, so we can just blend in with the hundreds of other universities? What makes us different IMHO is what makes us great.

  5. Jcak – I agree with you, the plain jerseys, swinging banners, and the stripped warm up pants are the identity of the Indiana Hoosiers. I just hope this article doesn’t lead to a waste of $100,000.00 to survey and decide if IU needs a mascot or not.

    WE DON”T!

  6. As some of the other comments note, IU used to use a white bison as a cartoonish mascot on some apparel, although I don’t believe there was ever a person in a bison suit. Also, there was the short lived “Hoosier Pride,” a county guy in a crimson cowboy hat, who was before my time but apparently did not endear himself to IU fans. This was the late 70s or early 80s. According to a IU Alumni mag article of a few years ago, Hoosier Pride’s ginormous head is still somewhere in the bowels of Assembly Hall.

    I have to dissent from the hickory idea. OSU already has a nut-head mascot, and it seems forced. IU studied this when they standardized the uniforms and colors a few years ago, and I think they found there wasn’t much interest in something we had never had. Does anyone other than little kids care about these mascots?

  7. Matt, it isn’t that your article or writing has that pull, it is that something like this if read by the wrong over zealous person at IU could get something like that rolling.

  8. The pride that all hoosier fans carry is more than enough to make up for not having a mascot, and besides who needs a mascot when you’ve got 5 banners hanging from your stadiums rafters no other fans in the BIGTEN can look up in their stadium and see the pride and history of their team as we can!

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