New nickname for West Georgia: Wolves

Updated: January 12, 2006, 7:49 PM ET
Associated Press

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- West Georgia dropped its Braves nickname in favor of Wolves in a move to abide by NCAA regulations.

West Georgia president Beheruz Sethna on Thursday accepted the recommendation of a task force that chose Wolves over two other finalists: Patriots and RedHawks.

"There are many outstanding aspects of the Wolves: the alliteration, the fact that many of our students like the name, the fact that only four colleges or universities -- none in this area -- use the Wolves, and the opportunities for use in other aspects of campus life,'' Sethna said.

Athletic director Ed Murphy said the school's teams will be called the Braves through this academic year. The new name will be used at the beginning of fall semester.

The NCAA has ruled schools will be barred from wearing uniforms with their Indian references at NCAA championships. Schools with nicknames deemed offensive by the NCAA will be prohibited from hosting those events as of Feb. 1.

Some schools, including Florida State -- which uses Seminoles as its mascot -- have successfully appealed to keep their current nickname. Others, including Bradley in Illinois -- which also uses Braves -- are still appealing.

The decision to drop the name Braves was not supported by all West Georgia fans and alumni. School officials said the university also wanted to distinguish its name from that of the Atlanta baseball team.

"The timing is right for this change,'' Murphy said.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press