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. eldono

    Who were the parents who called in? How many of them? Was it the rest of the town who just sat back and did nothing? are they not the problem?

    January 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Miss Anthrope

    Are you FREAKING kidding me?

    January 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hot Old Grandma

    I like them young boys<3

    January 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      Less than 3 years old is pretty damn young.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Harry Pugh

    this is so absurd.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jon

    And this is exactly what is wrong with this country. Grow the hell up people...

    January 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Johnsao

    I love Utah but some people there get a kick out of making everyone's lives miserable. That's why I moved and my visits are usually only due to passing through on to the great and not so stuck up, pompous, and arrogant people that I'll always loved back in IDAHO.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. yeaaaapppp

    This is literally the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life. Don't you have anything worthy of reporting on? Or better yet don't these people that are complaining have anything better to do with their time????

    January 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dick Nickson

    A bunch of stuck up c–ts who sit around on their fat A–ES all day with nothing better to do then gossip about other women, or b–ch and moan about stupid s–t, like this.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hey, Mr. Misogynist...

      ...your name suits you well. S T F U!

      January 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    I used to have a acquaintence that was a mor on from Utah. He was pretty cool.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joseph Smith

    This offended multiple people in my immediate family.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tom

    I think pretty much anyone who's not old and out of touch has no problem with the term "cougar"... it's an animal for god's sake. It's not the school board's problem if people have decided to apply a mildly derogatory meaning to something that is totally innocuous to a bunch of kids. Political correctness gone too far if you ask me.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jess

    I have heard a lot of ridiculous B.S. recently, but this is the frosting on the B.S. cake. The kids voted for "Cougars" and someone with too much clout is b^**-hurt over the name? Major B.S.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Um, Tom...

    The "in touch" bozos are the ones making a big deal out of nothing. The students voted...and I guarantee they weren't thinking about women at the time either. "Old and out of touch"? That's more derogatory than the term "cougar."

    January 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BrianR

    This is absurd! The animal is the mascot, not some midddle aged woman. It is time for this country to take a deep breath and start thinking first instead of reacting first. Grow up people, grow up!

    January 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sy2502

    How is it derogatory? What's wrong with a woman that dates younger men? Are we still such bigots? Old men have been dating young meat forever and nobody finds it offensive. These people need to get out of their caves more often.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      There is nothing derogatory about it, unless one is an uptight pc-maniac from Utah...

      January 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
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