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December 5, 2008

University’s lion mascot out like a lamb after DUI

Friday, December 5, 2008

Penn State’s Nittany Lion mascot.

Another member of the Penn State University cheerleading squad will step in to play the Nittany Lion at the 2009 Rose Bowl, after the main performer was suspended for after a DUI and summary traffic violations.

Pennsylvanian James Sheep was charged with driving under the influence on November 22. Cheerleading coach Curt White told the Associated Press that Sheep will return later in 2009. The duration of the suspension was not mentioned.

Sheep was pulled over on campus at 3:16 am November 22, before Penn’s game versus Michigan State. He registered a .164 blood alcohol level. (Penn won the game 49-18.)

In a statement, White commented: “James has been a very enthusiastic and hard-working Nittany Lion, but we are disappointed that his recent actions did not represent the high standards of this position. We are planning to have James resume his duties in the new year and are confident that he will represent Penn State Athletics and the University with a high level of energy, dedication and respect.”

The mascot was introduced in 1904, as a costume character in 1921, and is even the subject of the book The Nittany Lion: An Illustrated Tale.

Sheep has avoided interview requests by The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s newspaper, on multiple occasions.

Some earlier reports suggested that “46 current or former Penn State [football] players have been charged with crimes on 163 counts in the past six seasons.” Of those players charged, 27 were found guilty of at least one charge.

See also 2008 Penn State Nittany Lions football team.


  • “Penn State mascot suspended until next year”. Associated Press, December 4, 2008
  • Elizabeth Murphy “Mascot suspended”. The Daily Collegian, December 5, 2008, 4:59 am
  • Phil Guidry “Mythbusters: Penn State/State Pen”., October 30, 2008
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