But whether Colonel Reb too should go, and what might replace him, has divided fans.
“Over. My. Dead. Body,” said Mack Allen, 36, an alumnus and technology analyst from Memphis, who wore a T-shirt to a recent football game that read, “Colonel Reb — Loved by Many, Hated by Few.”
A group of fans called the Colonel Reb Foundation said it had gathered 2,000 signatures on a petition against any new mascot and plans to deliver it to the chancellor, Daniel W. Jones, and newspapers across the state. It also paid for the costume that Mr. West was wearing.
“People just want it to be over,” said Ty New, 21, a senior from Olive Branch, Miss., a co-chairman of a student committee to select the new mascot.