College Drops `Wild' Centaur Mascot

Thursday, October 19th 2000, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Catholic university has retired the centaur as its mascot, saying the mythical man-horse no longer fits the school's image.

Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales will be renamed De Sales University on Jan. 1. Officials shed the school's 30-year-old mascot as well and are striving for a replacement with a less ribald and barbaric reputation.

``The centaur was a wild, lawless type of creature,'' said athletics director Scott Coval. ``It doesn't really fit.''

In one Greek myth, centaurs at a wedding feast get drunk and try to kidnap the women guests.

``It is, in fact, offensive to many of the women students,'' said college spokeswoman Lina Barbieri.

Coval said the mascot was picked through wordplay on the school's location — Center Valley became Centaur Valley. That might have seemed clever once but by the 1990s had become outdated, said Christian J. Manganelli, a 1998 graduate from New York.

``I think this is a change that goes along with the new name,'' he said. ``It's not that we're stripping away memories, it's just that we're changing. This is the new us.''


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