Arkansas Tech's men's athletic teams are known as "The Wonder Boys", and apparently they're not exactly thrilled with that, nor have they been for the last 20 years.
The unusual nickname came about when Tech upset Arkansas State in their 1919 football matchup, and was given to them by a newspaper editor. Over the years there was talk about making a change, and in the 1980's "surveys indicated that a majority of students were dissatisfied with the nickname situation". Guess it's a good thing they decided to wait another 20 years before getting serious about changing it.
School officials say that one of the reasons a change is needed is because of the negative connotations associated with the phrase "Wonder Boy".
“These connotations include slurs about an individual’s manhood or race, and the slurs have been used against Tech when recruiting,” the release said.
When asked to elaborate on that, Strasner(an assistant to the university president) said that concern came up within the committee.
“I know one thing that was said by one of the student-athletes in the committee meeting — one of the things that I’ve heard repeated several times — was that once they leave Russellville and go back home, they don’t really like to associate themselves with that name because of some ribbing they take from their friends,” Strasner said.
Used against them when recruiting? Geez, college football recruiting really is a cutthroat business.
Currently, a committee of current students, former students and school administrators are reviewing possible nicknames, and the next step would be to gather feedback via an online survey. Some possibilities include, Comets, Copperheads, Sharks and Terrapins. Yeah, because I always think of sharks when someone mentions Arkansas.
Oh well, I suppose that anything is better than "The Wonder Boys".