By Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor
Baylor University officially announced Friday afternoon that the Baylor women’s basketball team will no longer be referred to as the Lady Bears. In an effort to be more consistent, they will be removing “Lady” from their nickname and instead go by the Bears, similar to the rest of the athletic programs at Baylor.
“Baylor women’s basketball has solidified itself as one of Baylor’s most remarkable and celebrated programs,” Baylor said in a statement. “While the use of Lady Bears is still very much a part of the program’s decorated history, in an effort to be more consistent with the current nomenclature of the other 18 Baylor sport programs, the team will now be referred to as simply the Bears.”
“This evolution is unique in that it creates consistency among Baylor teams while also highlighting the individual sport and contributions of its athletes and coaches.”
The use of “Lady” for women’s college sports teams had been common until recently, as many schools across the country have stopped using it in recent years. The only team in the Big 12 to still use “Lady” in their nickname is Texas Tech, which goes by the Lady Raiders. Oklahoma State also has a different name for their women’s and men’s teams as their women’s teams have the nickname Cowgirls and their men’s teams are referred to as the Cowboys.
The Baylor women’s basketball team had been using the nickname “Lady Bears” for over 50 years, however they made changes to their social media handles earlier in the week to signify the name change, giving the team a new identity to go along with their new head coach Nicki Collen ahead of their upcoming season.