After playing most of the season without a mascot, Saint Louis University will take another stab at unveiling a new Billiken on January 25.
Especially for those with ties with Saint Louis University, September 13, 2016 is a day that will forever live on in infamy. That’s the day that SLU revealed a new Billiken mascot that horrified a large percentage of the school’s student and alumni base. That Billiken, which featured a two-tone gray and white face, a bizarre attempt at a tuft of hair that instead ended up looking like the warts on the TCU Horned Frog’s head, a permanently-winking right eye, and a left eye that looked like some kind of spy cam, lasted for a few soccer games. When the backlash became too obvious to ignore any longer, the school announced plans to redesign the mascot on October 4.
While the University has gone back to the drawing board and engaged in a thorough redesign process that has included student and alumni input, that’s unfortunately left the basketball team mascot-less for much of the 2016-17. Granted, this is probably the ideal year to have that happen, as the Billikens are in the midst of a full-scale rebuild under new coach Travis Ford and are just 5-13 this season, but nevertheless it’s had an effect on the gameday environment at Chaifetz Arena.
That won’t be the case any longer, though, as a new Billiken mascot will be unveiled at SLU’s next home men’s basketball game on Wednesday, January 25 against Massachusetts. President Fred Pestello first hinted at the news on Twitter Thursday afternoon, and the currently bodiless Billiken later confirmed the news on the same social media platform. That means the newest iteration of the Billiken will be around for the final seven games of the ’16-’17 schedule, plus a possible NCAA tournament run for the women’s hoops team this year.