What Is An Idaho Vandal? The School’s Nickname Explained
As Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns prepare to host Idaho Vandals for homecoming tomorrow, we began to wonder what a "Vandal" is.
The mascot is a man with a thick beard and a crown, likely leading some to believe a "Vandal" is a viking. Not the case.
According to the University of Idaho, the name Vandals began nearly 100 years ago because of the defensive style of the basketball team.
In 1917, basketball coach Hec Edmunson's squad "vandalized" their opponents on defense, according to several sports writers. Several years later, Vandals was the official nickname of Idaho.
The mark made by that 1917 team went far deeper than wins and losses on the court. In 1917, Harry Lloyd "Jazz" McCarty- a writer for the Argonaut- subtly tagged the team with a new nickname in a pre-game write-up. "The opening game with Whitman will mark a new epoch in Idaho basketball history, for the present gang of 'Vandals ' have the best material that has ever carried the 'I' into action." McCarty's indirect suggestion stuck. By 1921, McCarty and Edward Maslin Hulme, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, succeeded in their push to have Vandals officially adopted as the nickname for all Idaho teams.
There you have it. Idaho's nickname is short for a crime.
You have to admit, it's very original.