School scraps 'Cougars' as mascot after complaints that it's derogatory
Students chose the cougar as their mascot, but some parents complained about the term's use in regard to women.
January 19th, 2012
02:31 PM ET

School scraps 'Cougars' as mascot after complaints that it's derogatory

It's tough to pick a mascot these days.

Over the past few years we've seen several instances of schools being pressured to change their mascots because of cultural sensitives like Miami University of Ohio having to go through a 25-year process to change from the Redskins to the Redhawks.

But we've never heard of a mascot that offended, well, older women.

The Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah, needed to choose a mascot and after 23% of students who voted decided they wanted to be the Corner Canyon Cougars. Falcons, Raptors and Diamondbacks were the other choices on the ballot.

But that didn't sit well with parents who called in and complained that "Cougar" was a derogatory word because of how it's made its way into our vocabulary for older women who like to date younger men.

"We have received numerous e-mail messages and phone calls from parents and patrons in Draper asking us to reconsider the inclusion of 'Cougars' as a mascot option," David S. Doty, superintendent of the Canyons School District, wrote in a memo to the Board of Education. "Opposition to the 'Cougars' focuses on a concern that the mascot, combined with the school’s blue/white/silver color scheme, will be too similar to Brigham Young University. Many also have commented on the negative double entendre of the word 'cougar.'"

A cougar mascot doesn't seem to present a problem at well-known Brigham Young, in Provo, where 19 varsity teams, including 10 women's teams, compete under the Cougar nickname.

But down the road in Draper, the school board scrapped "Cougars" from the list of mascots and settled on the Chargers.

Maybe in Draper the ABC sitcom "Cougar Town," starring Courtney Cox, didn't go over real well.

For reference, because we know you were curious, we dug up a few statistics for you.

According to the 2010 census:
- Draper, Utah has a total population of 42,274 people.
–There were 12,685 people age 35 to 54. The median age there is 30.7.
–There are 5,709 women ages 35-54.
–Median age for women is 30.1. Median age for men is 31.2

And according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources:
–There are roughly 3,000 total mountain lions in the state of Utah "plus or minus 1,000."
- But it’s tough to get a true estimate. “The elusive nature of the big cats, compounded by their penchant for nocturnal activities, makes them difficult to count,” Kevin Bunnell, mammals coordinator for the DWR, told the Salt Lake Tribune.

While no doubt everyone has their own view on the matter of picking mascots and what is politically correct, it seems like the list of things you can't call your team continues to grow.

And you never know, this story may not be over yet. "Chargers" may be deemed offensive to people who are up to their necks in credit-card debt.

What do you think? Was the decision to scrap the mascot a legitimate one, or is this a case of people being slightly oversensitive?

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Filed under: Animals • Utah
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    So now let's change the name of the animal. This is ridiculous.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO ©

    Call them the opposite of cougar. What is the opposite of cougar? Jail bait.

    Also, how did 23% manage to win the vote with only 4 choices on the ballot?

    January 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Well it is a Public school. Athletics over Acedemics afterall.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • TTeeeE

      Some may have not voted.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Name change? How about "CHEETAH"!!! 😉

    January 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      CHEETAH.....That's the name for men who like younger women ...;-)

      January 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      :)™

      January 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • abraxas

      makes me think of that joke about Tiger Woods changing his name to Lion Cheetah

      January 19, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bubba™

    COUGARS. ... Would be a great name......for......(BRING- EM – YOUNG UNIVERSITY).......LMAO

    January 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      lol, clever

      January 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dyslexic

    Complaints of cougar leaving mascot scraps at school.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TORI©

    Now this is ridiculous!! The only dictionary they must use in this school is the dumb urban dictionary.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rooney©

    That is absolutely ridiculous! They should have kept the name that they wanted.
    @BOMBO©: The 23% thing confused me also. It doesn't add up.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      results of a public school education.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bubba™

    YEAH....BRING-EM YOUNG UNIVERSITY COUGARS...

    MAYBE THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD CHANGE ITS NAME....:)™

    January 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      .......... 🙂 ™ ……

      January 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BOBBY

    Pretty sure the kids were not talking about a 45 year old divorced woman with a b00b job.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Harry

    If this is the kind of thinking that the school board uses, the district has bigger problems than a mascot.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Being referred to as a cougar in a sports team for mascot purposes is *not derogatory* So now political correctness is going to that silly level? That is right ronney. They *should have kept the name they wanted.*

    January 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      This is not me. This is a troll.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rick

    I fell in love with my first cougar when I was 16. My English teacher, 6' tall, about 40, nice legs, great tatas.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. havesense

    Stories like this make me so glad I pulled my two youngest children out of school and started homeschooling. School administrators have become so worried about being politically correct that they look like incompetent morons. The mascot is based on an animal, people! Get a grip! Now I understand why my oldest gives me so many complaints about NOT being homeschooled and how public school wasted so much of his time when he could have been learning things.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kate Mitchell

    Sounds like the parents in Utah need to go back to school! Totally out of touch and RIDICULOUS!

    January 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sielingfan

    Now I have the song from that add stuck in my head..... "I'm a cougar, she's a cougar....."

    January 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr Pepper

      Wouldn't you like to be a cougar too.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
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