Cal State Long Beach replacing Prospector Pete mascot

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Prospector Pete is out.

The mascot of Cal State Long Beach is being replaced after years of debate.

The 49ers, the school's nickname for the athletic teams, is also out.

The statue of Pete, which thousands of students have walked by for decades, will be removed.

Prospector Pete dates back to the founding of the university in 1949.

The first university President P. Victor Peterson used to talk about "striking gold in education" according to the CSULB archives.

But student groups wanted to distance the school from the Gold Rush era and the connection to the treatment of Native Americans by prospectors.

CSULB is also built on top of a former Native American village.

The university is taking suggestions for a new nickname and mascot.

It's not just athletics that will be affected.

The school's bookstore is called the 49er Shops. And the school newspaper is The Daily 49er.

Some athletic teams have already started using the nickname "The Beach." And the baseball team has been known as "Dirtbags" for decades.

As for Prospector Pete, he's not leaving campus. Officials say he will be moved to the Alumni Center.