University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon spoke to Michigan Today about the possibility of U-M having a mascot, which it has avoided until now.
"I'm struck by the fact that when opposing teams come to our stadium, and they bring a mascot, all of our young fans are lined up to see if they can get a picture taken with it, whether it's the Penn State Nittany Lion or Sparty," Brandon told Michigan Today. "That's a little annoying to me."
"You can't get your picture taken with a Block M. Mascots are really embraced by the youth demographic and we want to take advantage of that, for all the reasons that are obvious."
But Brandon is insistent that any mascot Michigan chooses needs to be the right one. To hear him tell it, the biggest barrier at this point is not the idea of a mascot but its design. One of the big gripes about Willy is that he looked too much like Bucky Badger, the Wisconsin mascot.
"We're interested in doing a mascot but it has to be something that fans love, that children love and everyone can embrace," Brandon explained. "So far we haven't figured out a way to do it. Until we come up with something we love, we don't have a mascot."