The president of Michigan State University, Lou Anna K. Simon, announced that the school's sports teams will no longer bear the name "Spartans."
"Ancient Sparta was built upon the enslavement of the Helots," Simon said. "We must cease glorifying this heinous crime. Team names should reflect virtuous qualities of society.
"That is why we will now be known as the Michigan State Altruists."
This follows on the heels of USC abandoning the name Trojans. Feminists, who had long complained that the term "Trojans" was associated with the abduction of women, were mollified when USC adopted the tag "The Sensitive."
The trend of renaming teams began when a federal judge ruled that the University of Michigan, by calling its teams the "Wolverines," created a hostile atmosphere for wimps. 'êThe name 'Wolverines,' by celebrating a vicious predator, encourages bellicose, belligerent behavior," the judge opined, "and leads students to denigrate pantywaists and wusses. Both the law, and fundamental fairness, require state institutions to pretend namby-pamby candy asses are just as good as the cool kids."
After losing the case, the university dropped the Wolverines and became the Michigan Bichon Frises.
Quickly, most colleges ended the practice of naming teams after ferocious animals. The LSU Tigers are now the LSU Prey, while the Princeton Tigers became the Princeton Post-Structuralists. The Columbia Lions changed to the Columbia Losers. "We wanted a name that encapsulated both our student body and our athletic teams," President Lee Bollinger explained.
Renouncing predation, Washington State University relinquished its tradition of playing as the Cougars. "Cougar is a bad image for a leading research university," President Elson Floyd stated. "It connotes brutality, exploitation, and violation. Our new epithet, the WSU Do-Gooders, presents a more constructive image."
Most colleges have dropped truculent and threatening names. Notre Dame became the Compromising Irish. Miami apologized to hurricane victims and are now the Miami Temperate.
Bucking the trend, the University of Washington will retain the name "Huskies." 'êCompared to our student-athletes, sled dogs are smarter, work harder, and enjoy better graduation rates,'ê President Mark Emmert observed.