Archive for Monday, December 4, 1995


December 4, 1995


Brand-new Baby Jay hatches with a half-boiled response from fans.

After four years since its last major design change, Kansas University on Saturday introduced a new Baby Jay mascot as it busted out of a box before the Kansas-UCLA basketball game.

New Baby Jay and Jay uniforms have since drawn some criticism from fans.

"The little one (Baby Jay) looked more like a cartoon," said Doug Dobbins, KU sophomore. "It looked like something out of the Flintstones or something. It's kind of goofy-looking. I didn't like it."

Although both the new mascot uniforms are brighter and in better condition than the aging uniforms, Le-Thu Erazmus-Tuttle, KU mascot coach, said some improvements are needed.

"This company's got the right idea, but it's (the Baby Jay's uniform) not mobile enough to do what we wanted to do," she said. "They had the idea, it just wasn't proportioned right."

The new Jay uniform's muscular-looking wings are more constricting than the old uniform, and the new Baby Jay is hot and less mobile for tumbling.

The first Jay uniform came out in the 1960s, and the first Baby Jay was hatched in 1971 from a big, blue egg during halftime at a KU-Kansas State football game. The latest versions of the Jays --while being criticized as cartoonish -- are more vivid in color than before.

"The coloring is perfect," Erazmus-Tuttle said. "We wanted it to look like the emblem. I've heard some people say that it (Jay) looks like the 'Beak 'em Hawks' T-shirts."

While some think the new Baby Jay looks cartoonish, others like the cute little bird.

"I thought it was cute," KU freshman Amy Hackmeier said. "It looks like a baby Jayhawk. I'd date it."

But the debate continues, with the Baby Jay's beak being a big focus for some fans.

"I think they should change the little one again," KU freshman David Pritchett said. "It looked like it had a nose. It didn't look much like a baby Jayhawk."

Erazmus-Tuttle said the uniforms will be sent back to the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company that designed them for improvements. Each uniform will be adjusted for cooling, and Baby Jay will get a beak job.

"We are going to send them back and have them corrected," Erazmus-Tuttle said. "But aside from the criticism from people, we just want to make the changes for the people wearing them."

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