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LIU's unified athletic program has its mascot -- the Sharks

Tommy Donovan during the LIU Post spring football

Tommy Donovan during the LIU Post spring football game on April 14, 2019. Credit: Lee S. Weissman/Lee S. Weissman

“So, three finalists went into the vote, one finalist come out, and ‘the Sharks’ was the best, May the 15th, 2019.”

LIU’s new unified athletic program has its nickname after a vote by students and alumni, choosing Sharks as the new mascot, the university announced in a news release late Wednesday night, citing “Jaws” and other staples of popular culture as examples of the creature’s strength. Sharks won out over Eagles and Falcons.

“The shark is an animal which embodies strength, resolve, and brilliance, all of which characterize the spirit of LIU and the individuals who comprise our extraordinary University,” the release said.

LIU teams will begin competing as the Sharks starting this September, the first Division I program on the East Coast to use the nickname, according to the release. LIU will compete in the NEC.

“Long Island University students and alumni took the opportunity to set a distinct path by choosing the fearsome Shark as our mascot,” said LIU Director of Athletics Debbie DeJong in the release. “As we elevate LIU’s campuses into a single, stronger, Division I program, we will join together proudly as Sharks.”

The Sharks replaces the Pioneers nickname of LIU Post and Blackbirds mascot used by LIU Brooklyn. The LIU Sharks will use blue and gold as their colors.

LIU announced its plans to combine athletic departments and compete in the NCAA’s Division I last October, elevating seven teams associated with LIU Post in Brookville from Division II and adding women’s ice hockey and women’s water polo. The school said it will honor all of its current scholarship athletes, including those who do not make 2019-20 rosters. LIU said it worked with the NCAA to receive waivers that will allow student-athletes to transfer to new schools.

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