Mark Layne filed a rather disturbing story today claiming the the University of Notre Dame is reviewing its use of the "Fighting Irish" nickname and leprechaun mascot in order to stave off potential NCAA legal action. You should read the whole story, but here are some excerpts:
A mythical figure from Irish folklore, the leprechaun is a small male faerie known for his feisty, ill-tempered, and mischievous nature. Said to be possessed of magical powers, leprechauns can supposedly guarantee wealth and protection to any who might capture one ....As I said, if you care about this issue, you should read the whole article. Thanks to Mr. Layne for bringing this issue to our attention.
The irascible, elf-like creature first appeared in a cut-away green suit, Irish country hat, and shillelagh at the start of the 1965 football season. He has since become a fixture at all home varsity sporting events. Prior to the leprechaun, the University’s official mascot was an Irish terrier named Clashmore Mike, and prior to that, an artichoke.
Surprisingly, though a seemingly benign if not embarrassing symbol, the familiar leprechaun does not enjoy the support of all Notre Dame fans and faculty.
Notre Dame alumna, Eileen Shanahan, is disgusted by what she considers an abuse of elfin iconography. “I mean – leprechauns are people too, aren’t they? So is it fair to stereotype them all as odd, nasty little men always begging for a fight?”