Syracuse isn’t playing in the ACC Tournament; that’s old news. The new twist to the story: Otto isn’t allowed to play either.
Let me explain.
Today the ACC held its annual “Mascot Game.” At halftime of Thursday afternoon’s ACC Tournament game between Louisville and North Carolina, the mascots from all the ACC schools gathered on one court to play in what I can only imagine was a very sweaty and fundamentally awful game of basketball. It’s the kind of gimmick that never gets more than a chuckle from fans as they leave their seats for the concession stand; that is until a certain fruit gets left out of the festivities.
Apparently Syracuse’s self-imposed sanctions include Otto the Orange, as the school’s beloved mascot was not included in the game. Why do current mascots have to be punished for mistakes made by the mascots of the past?
The story doesn’t end at the absence of Otto. While team-specific tournament shirts are on sale for the other 14 ACC teams, no Syracuse shirts are available.
Despite the lack of Otto and Syracuse apparel, the tournament hasn’t been entirely stripped of Orange. The generic ACC Tournament shirts include the Syracuse logo, and a Syracuse banner still hangs with those of the other conference schools.
Otto has yet to release a statement regarding his exclusion from the game (the most disgraceful thing to happen to the mascot since he released his 2009 apology letter to the Syracuse fans), but if all goes well Otto should be well rested and ready to get back on the court next year.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson