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. Britney Suddarth

    I don't think the decision was solely based on the word being able to have 2 different meanings. I think it is because of the BYU U of U rivalry. NO UTE FAN WANTS THEIR KID TO BE A COUGAR BEFORE COLLEGE! lol I can't believe that after having the kids vote for what they wanted they took the winner away, didn't even consider using the runner up choice, and instead came up with something that wasn't even on the ballot in the first place! Politics and being, "politically correct" is starting to become absurdly ridiculous!

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

      How bout them UTEP Gold Diggers?

      January 20, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. David

    These guys do know that a 'charger' is a container used by prisoners to smuggle contraband in and out of prison in body cavities, right? Try again guys.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. kemikal

    PATHETIC!! Cougars....are you serious? I agree with the Redskin change, but Cougars....c'mon son!

    January 20, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. ACEdeerslayer

    its the right name // better than money hoe

    January 20, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kwldragon

    Unless they choose to have a picture of an old lady, let them keep their Cougar mascot.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. mikrik13

    Lighten up. This PC thing has been way out of hand for a long time. Do whatever the kids want.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jim

    For those who object to "Cougar" as a mascot name; it sounds like a personal problem to me.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. guest

    It's a f-ing cat. Do they need to rename the animal too?

    January 20, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. Charlotte

    Ugh...seriously? So because some middle aged, washed up has been MAY get offended, sorry kids you can't have this particular mascot name? Please, people need to get over themselves, and let the names be used as they were intended to be used. But..I do suppose there are some similarities...a Cougar is an animal, kills it's prey, drags it off to eat it, sometimes will kill it's rivals and even it's offspring...I guess this may apply to some women. Not sure I would be so proud of that.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kim

    First. World. Problems.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    these people just need to get a grip

    January 20, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      Agreed Mary!!

      January 20, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. glenn

    i lol'd when i read this

    January 20, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    The students voted for the name; a couple of parents complained; so they changed the name. So much for a democratic vote. Could you imagine if we held elections like that? Terrible move in my opinion. Teaching kids that voting means nothing.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brad

    I think it all has to do with the BYU/University of Utah rivalry, which symbolizes the dual cultures and theocratic/democratic government we have here. As a non-Mormon in Utah, I've watched my kids suffer having BYU and LDS culture shoved down their throats by their schools, teachers, and PTA parents. Kudos to those who spoke up!

    January 20, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. fred

    You're kidding? The cat should be offended, if anything. 🙂

    January 20, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
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