Am I wrong? In any event, it appears that IU alumni and fans did not appreciate being depicted as rustics, and the mascot disappeared quickly, and the Hoosiers' sidelines have been mascot-free for at least 30 years. More recently, IU fans may recall that during the short tenure of athletic director Michael McNeely in the early 2000s, part of the process that led to the standardization of IU's colors and logos (a big success, in my opinion) was a study designed to develop a mascot, but that plan was ultimately abandoned. In my experience, most IU fans are perfectly content without a mascot and don't consider the viewing experience to be diminished because of the absence.
Gearries' idea is for something fun to depict a Hoosier. He envisions a figure wearing blue jeans and suspenders, carrying a peach basket with a basketball and a corncob pipe who would be called Hurryin' Hoosier Harry.
"He can look like a hillbilly, a hick, but basketball is the bottom line," Gearries said. "When you think of hicks, you think of country boys that are out in the backyard shooting baskets. Even if it's a peach basket on the side of a barn."
Gearries doesn't buy the argument that it's tough to depict a Hoosier. He said Purdue had the same problem with a Boilermaker years ago when it came up with Purdue Pete.
"But somebody was thinking, they put something together, and it has become iconic," he said. "It has a large head, those big eyes and a big Thor hammer on his shoulder. I think that's what IU needs to do. It needs something similar but, of course, in a different way."