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Jackson State mascot draws penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct

Jackson State Tigers mascot
Jackson State Tigers mascot
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

The Jackson State mascot cost its team 15 yards after being flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct following a 33-yard touchdown pass from Jalon Jones to Warren Newman during Jackson State’s home game Sunday against Bethune-Cookman.

Newman’s diving catch, which gave his team a 15-7 lead midway through the third quarter, was followed by a meaningless battle for the ball between the receiver and Wildcats safety Tydarius Peters.

Well, the oversized tiger wearing the No. 7 jersey wasn’t about to let that happen on its watch. The mascot was among the first out there in the back of the end zone trying to pull Peters off Newman.

But the officials weren’t about to let that happen on their watch. A flag was thrown, followed by the ever-amusing announcement: “Unsportsmanlike conduct, Jackson State mascot for coming onto the field.”

The Jackson State mascot showed no remorse after the incident, but its actions may have led to a downward spiral for the Tigers. The Wildcats scored on their ensuing drive, then Jackson State fumbled the ball away on its next three drives, with two of those turnovers leading to Bethune-Cookman touchdowns. Final score: Wildcats 36, Tigers 15.

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Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time a mascot has drawn such a penalty in college football. Other examples include Miami’s Sebastien the Ibis being flagged for hugging and kissing a player following a touchdown run during the 2001 Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma’s Sooner Schooner drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that cost his team three points during the 1985 Orange Bowl.


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