The fighting Irish leprechaun logo for Notre Dame has been around for a very long time!
A new survey by Quality Logo Products identified 128 Division 1 football team mascots and asked people to score them based on different categories, ranging from best and worst mascots to creepiest and most offensive. The survey results listed Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish leprechaun as the fourth-most offensive college football team mascot in the nation. Those were the results that were posted in the Indianapolis Star, according to the New York Post. The top three offensive mascots from the survey are Osceola and Renegade of Florida State, the Aztec Warrior of San Diego State and Vili the Warrior of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Notre Dame commented on the survey results and defended the mascot logo saying, "It is worth noting that there is no comparison between Notre Dame’s nickname and mascot and the Indian and warrior names (and) mascots used by other institutions such as the NFL team formerly known as the Redskins. None of these institutions were founded or named by Native Americans who sought to highlight their heritage by using names and symbols associated with their people."
At Notre Dame, the Irish have been a major part of the school since the school opened. Also in the statement released by Notre Dame, they said, "Our symbols stand as celebratory representations of a genuine Irish heritage at Notre Dame. A heritage that we regard with respect, loyalty and affection."