It’s a warm Friday afternoon on Florida State University’s campus in Tallahassee. Maintenance workers are cleaning the sidewalks with pressure washers in front of one of the school’s campus coffee shops. Students here are reacting to the university’s attempt to “clean up” its iconic Osceola emblem.
Sophomore Carlene Gonzalez-Brown isn’t sure why the university felt the need to change the logo. She feels more emotionally connected to the classic Osceola head but she admits ultimately what and where she studies is more important than the logo that represents the school.
“I think they should stick to the more traditional one. I like the previous one. I think that’s what the fans have gotten accustomed to,” Gonzalez Brown says. “You know it doesn’t really bring out that much anger for me but, I just feel like, when I came to FSU that’s the logo I saw. So, that’s kind of what I have grown to love over the years.”
Officials had been teasing a change to the logo for some time but it wasn’t until a local Wal-mart prematurely began displaying merchandise featuring the new logo that students and fans got their first glimpse at the modern Osceola. The logo’s current form was established in 1976 and senior David Everhardt wonders why after close to forty years and immediately after winning a national championship, the school would decide to make the change now…
“I just don’t really understand it, I guess that would be mine, I don’t really know why we changed it. It’s just kind of different and I guess getting used to it is just going to take time. I don’t really care for it personally,” Everhardt says.
The new logo isn’t all that different from its ancestor but, does feature a wider mouth and teeth. Osceola’s head is a bit smaller and his iconic feather no longer spells out the words “Florida State,” opting instead for the school’s initials. FSU officials insist the new logo is cleaner, more detailed and modern.
In a statement, FSU Athletics administrators say the change was a carefully calculated decision after two years of surveys and studies. They finally made their decision after receiving complaints that the current logo was difficult to embroider and paint on merchandise. Still, student David Everhardt thinks a lot of controversy could’ve been avoided by first taking the pulse of the student body.
“I felt like that would’ve been a smart decision on their part because obviously we’re their students and when we’re united you know, obviously we could accomplish more. This is something, just like, why weren’t we asked? If we’re a part of this,” Everhardt says.
It doesn’t seem FSU officials have any intention of scrapping the changes. They say the official release of the logo will take place April 11th.