“Hey Reb!” is officially no more … UNLV has punted the mascot forever — but the school is still keeping its “Rebels” nickname.
University president Keith Whitfield made the announcement in a letter to the UNLV community on Tuesday … saying the cartoon character with Confederate ties will be retired for good.
Whitfield said the school currently has no plans to replace the mascot with a new one.
Of course, the decision isn’t too surprising … given the school just removed a famous on-campus statue of “Hey Reb!” back in June.
UNLV hoops legend Isaiah “J.R.” Rider praised the decision at the time, telling TMZ Sports, “I think it’s the right thing to do personally.”
As for the school’s nickname, however … Whitfield says the university has no plans to drop the “Rebels” moniker from its teams and programs.
“Personally, I have always viewed the term ‘Rebels’ as a strong, nationally recognized brand synonymous with UNLV,” Whitfield said in the letter. “I believe the word ‘rebel’ represents an attitude or spirit.”
“It captures the essence of an iconic city that is unconventional and celebrates its independence, tenacity, and resiliency. Rebels have a purpose or motivation for a greater cause and are not afraid to take risks to make incredible things happen.”
Whitfield added, “As UNLV continues to rise as a top public research university, we must do so in a way that represents all of our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and supporters.”