Kansas State is considering dropping part of their pre-game festivities for home games after a student was hospitalized when he was tackled by the team’s mascot.
Saturday before the West Virginia game, a member of the school’s cheer squad ran around the field in Mountaineer colors taunting fans as part of a skit that ends with the West Virginia “fan” being tackled at mid-field before Willie Wildcat leads the crowd in a cheer.
The student hit his head hard on the turf and shook violently on the field for several moments before medics from both teams rushed onto the field to help.
Coach Bill Snyder even went out to take a look before the player was helped off the field and taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
“I hope he’s ok,” Snyder told reporters in the post-game press conference.”
The student left the field in an ambulance.
“There was just kind of a hush over our section and it just killed the pre-game excitement,” said Michael Pepoon. He’s a 1976 K-State graduate and a season ticket holder since 1989.
Pepoon loves K-State but thinks the skit has grown tiresome.
“This is Willie hitting a hit a kid who’s standing still at full speed and the kid going down on the ground,” said Pepoon. “It was just a matter of time before somebody got hurt.
In light of the student’s injury, K-State Athletics says they’re looking at changing the skit or dropping it.
“The Athletics Department is reviewing the practice of mascot skits and will determine the appropriate course of action going forward,” the school said in a press release.
Kansas State will not identify the student who was injured. He evaluated and released Saturday at Mercy Regional Health Center.
Story by KSN News / Justin Kraemer