The University of Connecticut Huskies have boasted one of the nation's elite college basketball programs over the past several years and have made strides in other sports as well. Their logo became synonymous with the school's success, but the new one makes them far less unique.
According to Kathleen Megan of the Hartford Courant, the university replaced the previous logo, which had been in place since 2002, with a fiercer and edgier "Jonathan the Husky" logo. There is no doubt that the new logo exudes intensity, but that type of logo has been seen countless times before.
UConn's previous logo was the subject of teasing at times since it wasn't particularly menacing. Rather than a husky that appeared ready to rip its opponent limb from limb, the old husky was fluffy and friendly. Perhaps it didn't exactly strike fear into others, but it was something different from what most other colleges utilize.
In addition to that, UConn achieved unprecedented athletic success, especially on the basketball court. The men's team reached the Final Four on three occasions since 2002 and won the National Championship in 2004 and 2011. The women's team fared even better as it reached the Final Four every year from 2002 through 2004 and again from 2008 through 2013. The Lady Huskies won it all in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010 and 2013.
The teams aren't going to get any better or worse in relation to the logo change, but it hardly seems necessary to get rid of a logo that is attached to a winning tradition. Programs like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas and Syracuse generally don't change their logos on a regular basis, so it's odd that UConn would choose to do so 11 years after doing it last.
Perhaps the change has something to do with the dissolution of the Big East Conference. It's no secret that the Big East has been in dire straits for the past couple of years, although it continued to thrive on the basketball end of the spectrum.
According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com, the former Big East Conference will be known as the American Athletic Conference moving forward. UConn is among the teams slated to remain in place, but things will obviously be much different. It's possible that the transitional period prompted UConn officials to make a decision to change the athletic program's identity with a new logo.
Whatever the case, it doesn't seem like a necessary move. If nothing else, perhaps it will help profitability to some degree as UConn fans everywhere will want to get their hands on new merchandise. Professional teams tend to make logo changes and introduce new uniforms for that reason, so maybe that was Connecticut's motivation as well.
It may not be for everyone, but the cartoonish logo was unique and helped differentiate UConn from everyone else. While Connecticut's logo isn't necessarily similar to what the Washington Huskies use, both of their logos are now streamline and modernized, and that takes away from their individuality.
The new logo ultimately won't affect athletic performance and it will probably make the university some money, so there are definite positives to be had. At the same time, UConn is sacrificing something that allowed it to stand out from the crowd for more than a decade, and that is truly unfortunate.
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