Fear the Wolfpack

WolfPack2.jpg

North Carolina State University is insisting that Loyola University New Orleans change its mascot. That’s because both schools have teams known as the “Wolfpack.” Nope, says, NC State, we are the Wolfpack.

According to an article by John Murawski in the News & Observer:

N.C. State Assistant General Counsel Shawn Troxler last month notified Loyola officials that their use of the Wolfpack image constitutes trademark infringement. Loyola’s use of Wolfpack could lead to confusion and misunderstanding in the marketing-intense, big-money world of collegiate sports.

“People could think something is being sponsored by N.C. State,” Troxler said Sunday. “We’re in the beginning stages of discussion of how they could use the term ‘Wolfpack.'”

Loyola has apparently been using the term Wolfpack since the 1930s. N.C. State only started calling itself the Wolfpack in 1947, but registered the name in 1983.

While college nicknames and mascots are a matter of great conflict, it seems unlikely that the Loyola is really infringing upon anything important to NC State.

According to an editorial in The Maroon, the student newspaper of Loyola New Orleans:

This is ridiculous. Loyola is a private Jesuit liberal arts institution with an undergraduate population of less than 3,000. NC State, on the other hand, is a public research institution with over 23,000 undergrads,” the editorial says. “Athletics are a similar study in contrasts. NC State is a NCAA Division I school and part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, sporting 24 varsity teams. Loyola, in comparison, is a NAIA Division I school in the Southern States Atlantic Conference, with a mere 10 sports teams (including men’s and women’s teams). Can one believably say that they purchased Loyola Wolfpack basketball tickets in the mistaken belief that they were buying NC State Wolfpack basketball tickets? The probability seems low.

Technically the sports teams of University of Nevada, Reno and Madison Area Technical College are also the Wolfpacks.

You colleges want to call yourselves the Wolfpack? Here’s an idea: Prove it, like a pack of wolves. Let’s drop Loyola and NC State administrators in the woods and let them track prey for miles, chase it, and then try to tear it apart. The team that eats first has the right to use the term Wolfpack forever. Sound fair? [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer