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. george lewis

    giantmormonkittiez

    January 20, 2012 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • A Utahn

      !!!!!NOT EVERYONE IN UTAH IS A MORMON!!!! The percentage is actually, roughly, 55% Mormon to 45% Non-Mormon, but that 55% is including all the "Jack-Mormons" in Utah too! So, really it is probably more like 55% Non Mormons to 45% Mormons! STOP THINKING IN STEREOTYPES!!!

      January 20, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Greg

    This is pretty retarded. How is that our society can allow those who misuse a word to whine until the improper meaning takes precedence over the proper meaning?

    January 20, 2012 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      Give it up Greg. I totally agree with you as I'm sure 90% of the population does but we live in a world where the minority of people out weigh the majority. This is so stupid. It is hard to believe this actually happened.

      January 20, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. James

    71.9% of people that responded to the poll associated with this story said "NO, there is no problem with that term". BUT... The minority of parents or "whiners" will win in our politically correct STUPID society.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. al

    so dumd, well some of the female student that attend alabama might be affended by their teams name cuz its insensitive to them during their periods

    January 20, 2012 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    It's hard to tell how many cougars there are because of their elusive, nocturnal nature. But we know they are out there because they all called in to complain about the school's mascot.

    January 20, 2012 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 20, 2012 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. MA

    "The elusive nature of the big cats, compounded by their penchant for nocturnal activities, makes them difficult to count..."
    Also true of cougars...

    January 20, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Karen Affeldt

    What's so bad about being a cougar? It's a compliment to me.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. biggadyboo

    Change it to wildcats

    January 20, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Grey

    I used to hunt cougars, but now I'm too old. But I still think they are one of the most fascinating animals in God's kingdom.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. biggadyboo

    Al your joke was stupid.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. anon

    I imagine the only parents complaining were the cougars themselves or wish they could be lol. Honestly cougars are awesome. Of all the names that could be given to a woman that likes younger guys that one isn't derogatory at all. I think they are missing the point with that name. Anyway it is an animal too and considering the name of the school and where cougars tend to live in the wild it was a perfect fit. 10 bucks says everyone of these overly protective daughters end up as teen moms and their sons in jail.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. anon

    I imagine the only parents complaining were the cougars themselves or wish they could be lol. Honestly cougars are awesome. Of all the names that could be given to a woman that likes younger guys that one isn't derogatory at all. I think they are missing the point with that name. Anyway it is an animal too and considering the name of the school and where cougars tend to live in the wild it was a perfect fit. 10 bucks says everyone of these overly protective parents, daughters end up as teen moms and their sons in jail.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. lalonde

    most people wouldnt even link that with older women! this is just parents compalining about a miniscule problem. if it can even be considered a problem. todays world is just waaaay to sensitive!

    January 20, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dee

    Maybe someone should explain why women needed this ridiculous term. What's the term we use for men who date women more than 10 years younger than they are? Hey Media – give "cougar" back to the big cats and stop trying to label everything women do. The kids at the school should have had total control over their mascot name.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Flooby

    This country continues to get DUMBER. Who was offended? Probably some h0rny old hag.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
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