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. Dana safe in Alaska

    Demi Moore Willis and Courtney Cox Arquett are the president and vice-president of this pathetic club. Your both trash.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    Stupid people need not to be allowed to dictate to the rest of the world. The people who complained should have beed told to shut up and then ignored.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      agreed, I bet most of the complainers were old angry christians.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dana safe in Alaska

    To equate this majestic animal to a pathetic horn dog as in an old used up broad is a crime in it's self.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jerseyhighlander

    When in high school, I suggested "Cougars" for our school mascot. That was over fifty years ago and to my knowledge the school teams are still known as the Cougars.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dana safe in Alaska

    Lets call these women as they really are, Pedophiles, we are quick to label men as such why not women like Demi Moore Willis and Courtney Cox Arquette.?

    January 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      agreed, enven though as a man of 30, I like women in there 40's as long as they are still put together.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. Warrior

    Thats ok when i graduated from hischool the following year the cheer team danced to devos song whip it, than some jacka#s decided to protest it and i know the individual, hes kind of a freak and hes morman so dont feel so bad ok folks

    January 19, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jonzy

    Pedophiles?? You're kidding right? You are seriously going to compare CONSENTING ADULTS who have years between them to the worst WRETCHED SCOURGE OF THE EARTH? Amazing. Your point is invalid and you are an idiot. The reason we don't call pedophiles "cougars" is because they are different. The English language is dynamic, regardless of slang. Please replace your BRAIN-MOUTH filter, it is malfunctioning.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      then it has to be the same for men, a 40 year old and a 20 year old is not pedaphilia, but most americans say it is. But for real, demi more is nasty.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. MathyMike

    23% of students who voted Cougars
    Falcons, Raptors and Diamondbacks were the other choices on the ballot.
    There were 4 choices.
    23% was the highest.
    100%-23% = 77%
    The lowest the other three choices could have gotten was 25.6%
    23% was the highest.
    There were 4 choices.
    Will somebody please help me...

    January 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • sy

      23% of all students available to vote chose to vote. "Cougars" was the most voted for of the available 4 choices by those students.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Benjamin

    I am an alumnus of a university that has the cougar as its mascot. We'd make jokes from time to time, but generally no one cared about the double meaning.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ross

    Just because in the short term Cougar is used in slang, we are supposesd to believe someone is offended. What the hell has in this country that we we have to change names because a handfull of people "feel uncomfortabe". Get a flippin' life, there is nothing wrong with the name Cougars.
    Dana you are missing the point. And Demi and Courtney date adults.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. george lewis

    Crack that whip and whoop it good...on a cougar

    January 20, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. mickey1313

    Only ugly older women think it is derogatory, hot older women think it is a compliment,.

    January 20, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  13. dobbins

    This is just nonsense. It is an animal. Get over yourself ladies.

    January 20, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. still amazed

    What is truly amazing is that in November- all of you will actually vote! Someone please help America

    January 20, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bill Brasky

    Giant kitty cats.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
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