(Full disclosure, I once dated a graduate of Nicholls State University.)
Today's marketing ass clownery is provided by Nicholls State University in Louisiana. Their mascot is the "colonel," so you know that someone was bound to come after their previous Old South symbolism. Marketing folks would be called upon and paid thousands to find a less divisive image. Focus groups would be convened, and people would be asked "do you think this is a good idea?"
When most image updates go on this day and age, however, they abandon their previously controversial image for something more cute and cuddly (the Stanford Cardinal is a tree) or some less menacing version of the previous incarnation (Johnny Reb at Ole Miss in a football uniform).
Nicholls State breaks this trend by updating their mascot to a possibly more offensive version. From the vistas of the Old South to the iron fisted, sword swinging grip of the Soviet gulag or Third Reich Germany. They may be the first school in history asked to revert to their previous, less offensive imagery.
Defending the new boondoggle? The citation that more than one person thought this was a good idea.
That their color scheme is red, black and gray does not help the image at all. I know for a fact that other schools with similar color schemes are able to have much more famous and iconic mascots while avoiding public outrage.
(HT: World Class New Orleans.)