LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield announced Tuesday that the school's "Hey Reb!" mascot has been retired with no plans to bring it back.
In a letter to staff and students, Whitfield said that "for all intents and purposes, the Hey Reb! mascot has been retired since last spring and there are no plans to bring it back."
While Hey Reb! has been retired, there are no immediate plans for a new mascot.
"We also have no current plans to create a new mascot," Whitfield said.
Whitfield said that the school will join likes of the universities of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Central Michigan that have no mascot - as well as the NFL's Green Bay Packers, New York Giants and New York Jets. Whitfield noted that UNLV didn't have a mascot in the mid-1970s.
"As UNLV continues to rise as a top public research university, we must do so in a way that represents all of our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and supporters," Whitfield said.
Although Hey Reb! will not be making a return, the school is keeping the "Rebels" nickname.
In explaining the decision to keep the "Rebels" nickname, Whitfield said, "
Personally, I have always viewed the term “Rebels” as a strong, nationally recognized brand synonymous with UNLV. I believe the word “rebel” represents an attitude or spirit. It captures the essence of an iconic city that is unconventional and celebrates its independence, tenacity, and resiliency. Rebels have a purpose or motivation for a greater cause and are not afraid to take risks to make incredible things happen."
The Hey Reb! statue on UNLV's campus had been removed last July under President Marta Meana.