Sparty is the mascot of Michigan State University. Sparty is usually depicted as a muscular male Spartan warrior/athlete dressed in stylized Greek costume. After changing the team name from “Aggies” to “Spartans” in 1925, various incarnations of a Spartan warrior with a prominent chin appeared at university events and in university literature. In 1943, MSU art professor Leonard D. Jungwirth designed a statue for the university, which had to be cast in terra cotta because of World War IIrationing. In 2005, the university replaced Jungwirth’s original statue with a bronze replica, moving the original indoors to protect it from the elements. Sparty appears in several other incarnations. In printed literature, the university uses a copyrighted cartoon Spartan, usually drawn with a grimace and several days worth of whiskers, lending the nickname of “Gruff” Sparty. Finally, Sparty appears as a foam rubber mascot with an oversized head. The mascot costume, worn by an anonymous student, appears at most university sporting, alumni, and fundraising events; he is often portrayed in MSU notices and materials. Watch the Michigan State college video tour here!
Osceola and Renegade are the official mascots of the Florida State University Seminoles. Osceola, representing the historical Seminole leader Osceola, and his Appaloosa horse Renegade introduce home football games by riding to midfield with a burning spear and planting it in the turf. Osceola and Renegade debuted in 1978, and are the most recent of several mascots used by the school. FSU has tried to ensure a dignified depiction of Osceola. The portrayal is supported by leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, but it remains controversial in some quarters. Florida State’s Osceola tradition is overseen by Allen Durham, whose father, Bill Durham, introduced it in 1978. Osceola wears a Native American-themed costume that the university says was “designed and approved by the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” consisting of leather clothing, moccasins, face paint, and a garnet bandana. He carries a feathered spear and is accompanied by Renegade, an appaloosa horse whom he rides bareback. Osceola performs at all home football games at Doak Campbell Stadium and related events like Homecoming. He initiates each game by charging Renegade to midfield and hurling a flaming spear into the ground. Watch the FSU college video tour here!