POSTED SEPT. 13 AT 9:08 P.M.
UPDATED SEPT. 14 AT 5:30 P.M.
Sebastian the Ibis, after dancing and leading cheers at Thursday’s pep rally, stomped and dismembered a pinata of the FIU Golden Panther’s mascot near the end of the event.
The destruction of the mock mascot comes ahead of Saturday’s game against the Golden Panthers, the first meeting of both football teams since last year’s on-field fight. The bench-clearing brawl, which both universities have pledged will not be repeated, was featured on ESPN for days and resulted several suspensions for both teams.
The destruction of the opposition’s mascot is a new tradition that will take place before each game, said Category 5 Chair Anthony Golino. He added that no ill-will was intended towards Florida International.
“At the end of the day, the pep rallies are fun everyone takes it for what it is–a pep rally,” President Donna E. Shalala said Friday. “Sebastian, at the game, will behave appropriately. He’s absolutely assured me.
“And because he only talks to me and no one else, I have his personal assurance that he’ll be on his best behavior, which he usually is.”
Shalala, who spoke towards the beginning and looked on as the Ibis destroyed the pinata panther, added Sebastian will hug and kiss the Golden Panther mascot at Saturday’s game.
A a real fight took place earlier this month on the field between two college mascots–the Oregon Duck and the Houston Cougar–involving punching and kicking. The duck was issued a one-game suspension.
“If Sebastian did that, he’d be suspended from school,” Shalala said. “I don’t care if he’s an Ibis, we suspend Ibises. Sebastian has never done gotten in to anything like that.”
Greg Linch may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org