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Updated Apr 30, 2015 - 1:33 pm

Utah school passes on ‘cougars’ as mascot

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A Utah school district has decided against using “Cougars” as a mascot for a new high school in part because of the negative connotation of the word in popular culture.

Canyons School District Superintendent David S. Doty says the selection of “Chargers” as mascot was driven by the desire for originality, despite a poll of some future students that showed 26 percent in favor of using the cougar.

At least three Utah schools, including Brigham Young University, use cougar as a mascot.

Doty says public comments reflect a desire to be different, but he also notes that some see the word cougar as carrying a “negative double entendre.”

The term cougar in popular culture can refer to women in their 40s who have sex with younger men.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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