BREAKING NEWS: The latest incarnation of Stanford’s embattled Tree has been suspended:
Stanford’s mascot will not be in San Antonio [for the women’s NCAA Sweet 16]. Whether it’s headed for the wood chipper remains to be seen.
The Tree was suspended for the rest of the NCAA women’s tournament Tuesday, a day after it was forced to make like itself and leave during the Cardinal’s second-round victory over Florida State in Denver.
“Make like itself and leave.” Heh. Of course, that reminds me of Back to the Future 2 and Biff saying the nonsensical “Make like a tree and get outta here!” Anyway, moving on…
This is not the same Tree, mind you, that was ousted for having too much drunk in the trunk at the Cal game last month. So that’s good. Or not so good, considering the pattern of rising sociopathic behavior on the part of Peninsula-area lumber-based beings.
“Athletic events are meant to be fun, and we want everyone to have a good time,” said Gary Migdol, Stanford’s senior assistant athletic director. “But we also demand that we respect the opponent, we respect the game and we respect the facility that’s putting on the event.”
NCAA officials thought Tommy Leep was out on a limb in that regard. As the halftime period ended and players returned to warm-ups, the band’s mascot was grooving with the Dollies — the five-woman dance team — when he was banished to the tunnel. (Officials said they had warned him repeatedly to make way for the players.)
Leep disputes the allegations that he was uncooperative, stating, “There were a bunch of little steps involved and a bunch of little requests. I had no problem honoring the requests, but they weren’t very clear.” Leep’s account seems to jive with that of a commenter, apparently from Stanford, on my previous post. Anyway, the article goes on:
So will he be the most short-leaved Tree in history? Leep said as far as he knows, he’ll be reinstated once the tournament ends. Migdol said that matter could come up for review within the athletic department, which sets ground rules for The Band but doesn’t provide funding.
Leep said he regrets the silliness detracting from the team’s success and that he can’t be there to cheer on his friends.
As for others who might be miffed by his antics? “As far as I can tell, I’m a mascot. Adding value to a spectator sport seems to be my job.”
Incidentally, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve created a Stanford Tree category, since this seems to have become a frequently recurring topic here on the blog!
P.S. If you’re wondering how I keep abreast of all the latest Tree-related news… I set up a Google News e-mail alert. :)