The Varsity Cup's new mascot, 'Prof', allows players, coaches and supporters to focus on another important aspect of this tournament - academics.
Given his looks, that of a stereotypical university professor, the name 'Prof' suits the mascot who will be present at all matches in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
'Prof' does not take the place of the regular team mascots, so all team mascots - the likes of Pokkel (Maties), the Ikey Tiger, etc - will be teaming up with 'Prof' at all matches.
Aside from its 'Rugby that Rocks' mantra, not to mention the huge element of fun that is associated with all of the Varsity Cup's die-hard supporters, academics have always been a major focus of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
The 'Prof' as part of the Varsity Cup team pushes academics to the fore, whilst the tournament organisers have also stressed the importance of players not missing any extra lectures due to playing commitments.
As per Varsity Cup constitution, all teams have to select a minimum of 16 bona fide students (from their own universities) in their 23-man matchday squads.
With matches taking place on Monday evenings during February, March and April, one could be excused for thinking that players would have to miss some lectures - especially in the case of traveling to away games, but players start their return travels very early on Tuesday mornings, giving players even more time to return to their universities - from away games - in time for Tuesday-morning lectures.
Varsity Cup MD Duitser Bosman explained the rationale behind those early-morning flights: "Our intention has never been to get in the way of academics - far from it, in fact!
"Players return at 6am on Tuesdays - all of which is intended to minimise any chance of their rugby cutting into their academic time.
"A balanced schedule is what it's all about... this is just one way of allowing the players to achieve that balance in their lives in what is a busy time for everyone."