MIAMI, Florida –
College football team The Florida Gators has announced it will be changing its name following the death of a two-year-old boy who was grabbed and drowned by an alligator while vacationing with his family at the Disney World Resort in Florida.
The alligator snatched the toddler as he played at the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon, a manmade lake at the Walt Disney resort.The boy’s parents, who were relaxing on the white sand shore nearby, sprang into action in a failed attempt to pry their child from the predator’s grip. A lifeguard who was on duty was unable to reach the boy before the alligator swam away with him.
Although the parents did not request the SEC Eastern Division champions change their name, the athletics department at the State University System of Florida says they have received a lot of public pressure. Coach Jim McElwain says he fears it may affect the team. “Personally, I think alligators get a bad rap. I’m worried a name change this close to start of the season is unrealistic and may affect team moral.”
The team has not settled on a new name, but the Raging Retires and Orange Crushers has been proposed.