Long-time FSC mascot announces retirement after 11 seasons

Emma Hamrick, Sports Editor

McDonald’s without Ronald McDonald, Walt Disney World without Mickey Mouse, Pillsburry without the Pillsburry Doughboy and Frosted Flakes without Tony the Tiger lose their spark as globally recognizable brands without the presence of their mascots. Florida Southern College will soon find out what campus will be like without Mocsie, long-term mascot and supporter of FSC and the FSC Athletic Department.

As winter break began to wind down and students returned to campus on Jan. 11, Facebook exploded with students sharing FSC Athletic’s link to an FSCMocs.com article revealing that longtime FSC mascot, Mocsie, has decided that, after 11 season cheering on the Mocs, it is time for retirement.

Mocsie first cheered on the Mocs in 2005. While Mocsie initially appeared similar to what students currently characterize as the FSC mascot, the inaugural mascot sported eyeglasses. Following a school wide vote in 2010, Mocise underwent “Lasik eye surgery” to remove the glasses and reappeared along with a slight jersey modification.

The 2010 revamp of Mocsie remains the familiar mascot students see in the stands of Jenkins Fieldhouse supporting the Mocs athletic teams today.

In reality, the current Mocsie does not accurately represent a water moccasin due to a lighter coloration. While this likely to better allude to FSC colors scarlet and white, the coloration contributes to confusion regarding Mocsie’s species for visitors and those unfamiliar with history of water moccasins in Lake Hollingsworth. This is only furthered by Mocsie’s clearly evident extremities which leading onlookers to perceive the mascot as a lizard rather than a snake.

While Mocsie’s full retirement came as a shock to many FSC fans, a re-branding of the 11 season mascot did not. Assistant Athletic Director Al Green frequently voiced his desire to update Mocsie’s appearance in his Spring 2015 Sports Management class.

As per usual, Mocsie will cheer on the both the women and men’s basketball teams on Jan. 23 against Lynn University in a 5:30 p.m. double header. During halftime of the men’s game, Mocsie will introduce what Athletic Director Pete Meyer’s dubs “Mocsie next-gen” during a retirement celebration for Mocsie.

According to Meyer, after a nation-wide search, the new Mocsie “will have a new look that I know the fans will enjoy.” While Mocsie next-gen’s appearance has yet to be revealed, a complete costume redesign could be in the works.

Mocsie’s retirement party following the men’s basketball game will allow students to take pictures with both the old and new face of FSC athletics and say final good byes to the original Mocsie mascot and enjoy a piece of cake in Mocsie’s honor. The party will take place in the Chas and Susan Smith Lobby after the game.

Following the Lynn game, Mocsie’s next-gen will take over full support duties of both the Athletic Department and the entire college.

Following the announcement, students and faculty across campus spoke out on social media to bid Mocsie farewell and congratulate the mascot on retirement.

“I want to thank Mocsie for great service to the Florida Southern community,” Dr. Anne Kerr, President of Florida Southern College, said on FSCMocs.com. “Mocsie was a great ambassador for FSC, and I look forward to working with our new mascot.”

Mocsie next-gen’s arrival comes in a timely manner as the basketball season reaches the second half and spring sports prepare for regular season play.

Mocsie next-gen will also be available to greet prospective students as the Office of Admissions prepares to host Scholars Weekend events  Jan. 29, Feb. 19, and March 18.

“I have enjoyed my career at FSC, having been a part of national championships and conference championships,” Mocsie said in an interview with FSCMocs.com. “I liked representing Florida Southern at community events and helping provide spirit and entertainment for our students and fans.”

While the FSC community may be loosing a familiar face, the arrival of a new Mocsie will usher in a new spring athletics season a continued Moc pride throughout the Florida Southern College community.