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. Kwonk

    The school district then decided to go with the runner-up choice, The Beavers.

    January 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      This is my favorite comment of the day.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • steven

      ROFLMAO very good

      January 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • brutallyhyphy

      Beaver Utah already claimed stake to that mascot. They are the Beaver Beavers

      January 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Las Vegas,NV

      ROFLMAO... Pure gold! Just watch out for the Political Correctness police tp hunt you down and reeducate you!! LOL

      January 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rj

      There is a city called Filmore down by the beaver area in utah. Maybe they should call themselves the Filmore Beavers.

      January 23, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mobi

    Are you freekin serious? REALLY???

    January 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A Reasoner

    Was the Fighting MILF's already taken?

    January 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rafael Ulloa

      hahahahahahahaha good one.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Granny

    This is beyond silly. I feel sorry for those school district leaders that don't have the backbone to dismiss frivilous complaints. Does that mean that Coke soda will now be banned because of those in recovery may be offended and relapse? Grow up people. Sad day for public education.

    January 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • eldono

      Don't forget, this is UTAH.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Thinks2010

    I find it amazing that in this day and age so many terms associated with women and girlls are still viewed as negative. The feline cougar is an amazing and beautiful animal, and so what if a woman wants to date or marry a younger man. I'm pretty sure the students had the feline in mind when they voted for the cougar mascot. They could just as easily chosen the same mascot and called themselves the Panthers (same animal under a different name). As far as human cougars go, women need to embrace the image and turn it into the same sort of positive it would be if it was a term used to describe men who date younger women. Women and men (girls and boys) of good character need to reject the idea that otherwise neutral or positive words and images become negatives when associated with women and girls; and they need to reject the use of obviously negative words to refer to women and girls in general (like the c-word, the b-word and h0-word).

    January 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • larry5

      In the big cat family the Cougar is the most successful hunter percentage wise. I think that's a good reason to pick a cougar as a mascot. All the rest is just noise by mindless people that don't have a life of their own.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Our high school are the Panthers. Just the ___ High School Panthers.
      The panther itself is's only a matter of time...

      January 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. larry5

    Well, maybe they are doing all this because it take no brains. If they had to educate students they'd be stuck. Better to go back to the MILF's. Their school motto could be "Cougars, they don't tell, they don't swell, and they're grateful as hell".

    January 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gary the No-Trash Cougar

    Give a larbage, throw out your garbage.

    January 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    This is, without a doubt, the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.
    When I think of a cougar, I think of...a big feline!
    And example of political correctness gone horribly awry.

    January 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • eldono

      Yup. I attended a high school called the Cubberley Cougars. This was before the reference to women choosing men at least 15 years younger than them. This is sensitivity gone berserk.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. hawkeye

    Well there you go ACLU .Man the democrats have to be proud of you idiots!

    January 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Illogical comment.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nbgb

    This Political Correctness thing is out of control. And most of the people at the ACLU need to get a real job. Come on people, have we become so educated that we can't reason anymore?

    January 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      The ACLU is in no way involved in this. That part of your comment makes no sense.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Warrior

    This is utah! What if romney makes office, he'll have it changed. Why cant people just leave well enough alone , its not really broken, but,but,but. Its low standards because its in utah. Come on mormoniansits just a name

    January 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©


      January 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GB about Get A Life!

    January 19, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. eldono

    What about the Oregon State Beavers?

    January 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Las Vegas,NV

      Not to worry... The Political Correctness police are on their way to enforce a name change there too because someone will read something into it and find a way to be offended!!!

      January 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Simon666

    The article is pure BS. If you actually read the school board's decision, you'll see the focus is on the color scheme too similar to other schools. The cougar things got a single line in the agenda of the meeting. This is just a juicy Fox News story to enrage people about those evil politically correct hippies that CNN just took over and was too lazy as usual to fact check. The most likely people to complain about the term cougar are morally self righteous tight sphinctered conservatives anyway.

    January 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. outofstateUstudent

    Blame the mormons

    January 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
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