Remember the days when the word “cougar” only referred to a mountain cat, and not an older woman who’s angling for a younger man?
At least in part because of that potential double meaning, Corner Canyon (Utah) High School recently decided against including “cougar” on its final list of possible new mascots.
The local board of education polled the student body for new mascot choices, and planned to let the students decide between the top four vote-getters: Cougars, Diamondbacks, Falcons, or Ravens. In the first vote, 26 percent of the students voted for Cougars, according to the Associated Press.
However, district superintendent David S. Doty sent a letter to the board on Tuesday, recommending that they drop Cougars from the final vote, both due to the double entendre and a “concern that the mascot, combined with the school’s blue/white/silver color scheme, will be too similar to Brigham Young University.”
“Since the last Board meeting, we have received numerous email messages and phone calls from parents and patrons in Draper asking us to reconsider the inclusion of Cougars as a mascot option,” Doty wrote. “Many also have commented on the negative double entendre of the word cougar.”
Doty recommended that the board remove Cougars from the second poll, and encouraged them to limit the vote to three options (even ones that didn’t receive student votes initially.)
In fact, he suggested that the board turn their attention to two options that didn’t initially receive student votes—Cavaliers and Chargers—as no school in Utah utilizes either as a mascot.
At the board meeting Tuesday night, member Sherril H. Taylor introduced a motion to accept Chargers as the school’s mascot, saying, “a Charger is a big, strong steed... it would be something that they could work to.”
Taylor also noted that the name Chargers would avoid any potential controversy that “Cougars” could have caused.
“It would be very good for the community,” he said.
The board ended up adopting the name Chargers unanimously on Tuesday.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.