INDIANAPOLIS - One of central Indiana’s beloved mascots, Butler University’s Blue II, will be retiring at the end of the current basketball season.
Blue II, an 8-year-old English bulldog, has become a fan favorite over the years and has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.
His younger brother, Blue III, or Trip, will join the family business and join the action on the sidelines.
“We were planning ahead for this and we kind of knew that this was probably going to be Blue’s last basketball season,” said handler Michael Kaltenmark.
Blue II is in relatively good health, but Kaltenmark said his lifestyle of lights, cameras and exciting games are starting to catch up to him.
Kaltenmark said Trip is happy to take over the duties.
“When it comes time to get out and beat the pavement and do all those things well, let’s let Blue rest and let Trip take on that responsibility,” said Kaltenmark.
Trip is a 1-year-old bulldog with plenty of energy and eagerness to carry the torch, but Blue II will still make his rounds on campus.
“The students love to see him there. They come down between classes and hang out with him and so that’s all Blue knows. He’s been doing that since he was 8-weeks-old, and here eight years later, day in and day out, that’s what we do and so to take that away from him would probably put him in a state of depression,” Kaltenmark said.
The official changing of the collar ceremony will take place on Mar. 9, which is also Senior Night.
Kaltenmark said if Butler makes it to the NCAA Tournament, he thinks it is only fitting to let Blue II enjoy the spotlight one more time.