Article by David Arseneault, WSU Today intern;
Photos by Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services
One of the biggest secrets on campus was revealed recently when Butch T. Cougar lifted his head showing his true identity of the student mascot. Senior general studies major, Richard King removed his head to hear the crowd go wild during half time at the men’s final home basketball game against the University of Washington.
Being Butch, King said, “gave me the excuse to be as stupid as I wanted to be, and always knowing that no one knew who I really was.”
As part of the role, King has protected his identity from the public for two years. He said his parents, fiancée, and roommates were among the only people that knew his secret.
King said his favorite memory of being Butch was at a women’s home basketball game against the University of California, when he ran into an athlete afraid of mascots. He said the USC coach came up to him and asked him to leave because one of the girl’s fear. He said” I waited the whole game for her to come up to the free throw line and then I jumped out of the crowd and started throwing my hands in the air…she was so scared that she missed her two shots.”
When asked what the major benefits of being Butch were, he said the amount of weight he lost after being in costume a whole football game. He said it is not Butch’s fault he smells, the outfit is like wearing snow gear in the middle of summer.
King said if he had the option to do it over again, he wouldn’t change anything. “When you put on the Butch outfit you suddenly become the most popular kid on campus, but once you take it off and walk home, no one has any idea who you are,” he said.
King said it’s like being superman and always having a secret identity.