Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

3 Little Words Could Propel Skynyrd Bid

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

3 Little Words Could Propel Skynyrd Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: Charlie Patton, Times-Union columnist

Not surprisingly, I got quite a response to last Sunday's column suggesting it is time Lynyrd Skynyrd was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But I didn't get a response -- and probably won't ever get a response -- from one quarter. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, which conducts voting for the hall, has ignored me.

The power of the press sometimes is overrated. But not always, as my old friend George Corrick recently reminded me.

In the late 1970s, Corrick was the University of North Florida's vice president for university advancement and I was a young reporter whose job included writing about life on the UNF campus.

At the time, there wasn't much. UNF was a weird hybrid of a university, handicapped by its peculiar designation as an upper-level university. That meant there were no freshmen or sophomores. There also were no dormitories. As a result, the typical UNF student was married, employed and in his 30s.

So there wasn't much campus life. The athletic program consisted of a soccer team and a tennis team. When those teams took the field, they had no name to call themselves. Nobody at UNF had bothered to select a mascot.

It was against this backdrop that in December 1978, I picked up a copy of the UNF alumni newsletter and noted an intriguing drawing. To illustrate a story reporting that UNF had more alumni living in Jacksonville than any university except the University of Florida, UNF public relations director Bud Newman had used a picture of a mascot race. UF's Gator was in the lead, with Florida State University's Seminole in third place and Jacksonville University's Dolphin in fourth. To represent UNF, Newman had used an armadillo.

As I noted in my story the next day, the argument for the armadillo was that the small, armored mammal could be found in abundance on the wooded UNF campus. …

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