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Two Rivers School District asked to change mascot’s logo

By Caroline Zilk

This article was published August 5, 2010 at 2:12 a.m.

— The Two Rivers School District will begin school in a few weeks with a slightly different looking mascot than planned.

The newly consolidated district was asked by the University of Florida to change the logo.

The University of Florida claimed the district infringed upon the university’s logo and design.

“We had 14 obvious differences in our mascot and theirs,” Two Rivers School District Superintendent Sherry Holliman said. “We could have fought it or changed it, and we chose to change the mascot and move on.”

The notification came in May, and the Two Rivers School Board voted during its June meeting to change the mascot’s logo to avoid a fine.

“One of the things our licensing department does is monitor and be aware of unauthorized use,” said Steve McClain, director for communications at the University of Florida. “We send cease-and-desist letters and ask them to stop using our trademark.”

McClain said many of these cases — including Two Rivers’ — are innocent, and administrators are cooperative. He said he trusts the school to take the correct action.

“In most of our experience, we reach a very agreeable solution, and then everybody moves on,” he said. “It is my understanding that that is the case here, and I don’t anticipate any problems moving forward.”

Holliman said the old Gator logo has already been removed from the gym floor and will soon be removed from the school’s scoreboards.

The district voted on and selected the Gator as its mascot when the Plainview-Rover, Ola, Casa and Fourche Valley school districts consolidated.

High school students will begin class on the new Two Rivers campus in a few weeks, proudly displaying their orange and blue colors. The Gator mascot will remain, but the logo has changed dramatically.

The new mascot was created by one of the school’s art teachers.

“Everything we did, from the colors and mascots we chose to use — students had input into every part of it,” Holliman said.

Two Rivers joins Western Yell County (the Wolverines) among high schools in Yell County with mascots that are easily associated with large universities (the Gators with Florida and the Wolverines with the University of Michigan).

The Danville Little Johns and Dardanelle Sand Lizards, though, are unique unto themselves.

Danville Native Michele Allen said the Little John mascot has been in place since shortly after World War II.

Danville residents said the mascot could be a reference to the character in the Robin Hood stories or some kind of pirate, but most agree that the Little John reference is in some way related to the legend of Petit Jean.

“Folks in Danville might be willing to bet that except for the schools in the Nottinghamshire area of England, there is possibly not another in the world with a mascot called Little Johns,” Allen said.

For more infor mat ion about the Two Rivers School District, visit tworivers.k12. ar.us.

— czilk@

arkansasonline.com

River Valley Ozark, Pages 63 on 08/05/2010

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