Otto the Orange squeezed out of ACC mascot game, banned like team

Otto is all smiles during a regular-season game on March 4, but he wasn't smiling Thursday. 

Rich Barnes/Getty Images


Syracuse’s self-imposed postseason ban apparently even extended to Otto the Orange.

The Atlantic Coast Conference held its annual mascot basketball game at halftime of the North Carolina-Louisville quarterfinal Thursday. Fourteen of the ACC’s 15 mascots played — from Mr. Wuf of NC State to Rameses of North Carolina to Sebastian the Ibis of Miami.

But no Otto.

Still, there are a few reminders of the Orange this week at the Greensboro Coliseum. They said back in February that they’d keep themselves out of this postseason in response to a lengthy NCAA investigation. The probe found the program committed academic violations, ignored drug test procedures and accepted payment for volunteer work at a YMCA.

At the conference tournament, a Syracuse banner still hangs next to banners for each school.

And the Orange’s block-S logo appears on the tournament’s official souvenir T-shirts, along with the insignias of all the other schools. The tournament is not selling Syracuse-specific tournament T-shirts, as they are for the other 14 schools participating.

As for Otto?

He was missed by a few.

One thing is certain. Otto is no sell-out. He’s a team player and he’ll stand by the coach (Jim Boeheim) through thick and thin.