Rivalries in college sports always generate some of the craziest stories that we read about all year. This one is certainly one of the more interesting tidbits we’ve seen so far in college basketball this season.
Oklahoma defeated in-state rival Oklahoma State on Saturday and the home game for the Sooners meant that a student mascot got a little overzealous with his taunting of visiting Cowboy fans. According to a release from Oklahoma, that student mascot was dismissed from the mascot program for his actions.
“The individual involved has been dismissed from the mascot program for unsportsmanlike behavior,” Oklahoma’s statement said. “The University of Oklahoma apologizes for this occurrence, which in no way reflects the standards of hospitality and sportsmanship of the University of Oklahoma.”
In a report from Jason Kersey of the The Oklahoman, multiple sources claim that Heather Ford — the wife of Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford — was among the Cowboy fans being taunted and harassed by the dismissed mascot. The student mascot reportedly blocked Oklahoma State fans from watching the game, taunted them and spilled popcorn on a group of them that included Ford, Kersey’s story said.
The student mascot was also reportedly told not to return to the section where he was causing problems.
Overall, this doesn’t sound like any unique or over-the-top actions from Oklahoma’s mascot. The Chicago Bulls’ “Benny the Bull” jokingly spills popcorn on fans every game and mascots generally interact with opposing fans at college basketball games in silly ways.
But if the student was told to stay away from an area of seating after a complaint, then that’s a different matter. It’s also a special circumstance when an opposing coach’s family is involved.
Oklahoma would not identify the dismissed student mascot or specify if one incident led to the removal. Different students dress up in the “Boomer” and “Sooner” costumes at Oklahoma during the year.