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updated: 1/28/2014 5:13 PM

UIS to keep Prairie Stars nickname

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- The University of Illinois-Springfield athletic teams will keep the Prairie Stars nickname.

Efforts started last year to explore alternatives to the Prairie Stars name, which has been the UIS nickname since 1977. But The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports Chancellor Susan Koch says the Prairie Stars name will remain. She says it's "more than an athletics team name."

The Student Government Association conducted a survey last year that found 75 percent of respondents wanted to change the name. Suggestions included the Mammoths, Sabers and Springers.

Koch says a task force report didn't offer a consensus on a single recommendation. Her office had hired a consultant to come up with alternative names. An alumni group opposed changing the name and sent Koch a petition with nearly 500 signatures.

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