Mascot stunt to be reviewed

Staff and wire reports

LUBBOCK — A Texas Tech committee is looking into a stunt by the school’s caped mascot, who apparently violated safety policy by riding a horse into the football stadium with the reins in his teeth and hands flung into the air like pistols.

The Masked Rider Committee will meet Dec. 6 to discuss Kevin Burns’ ride into Jones AT&T Stadium in the Nov. 17 football game against Oklahoma, university spokeswoman Sally Post said. Burns, a 2004 Texico High graduate and junior at Texas Tech, entered the field ahead of the Red Raiders in the nationally televised game.

The hands-free run once was common, but school officials ruled out the practice after accidents during the 1990s. Post said the policy banning the stunt does not recommend any specific penalty.

Burns’ mother, Peggy, said the family is declining comment until after the meeting.

Tech officially introduced the Masked Rider during the 1954 Gator Bowl. The mascot used to gallop a full lap around the field to celebrate touchdowns, but that practice was stopped after a game official was struck by the animal in 1992.

Other safety restrictions were enacted two years later after a rider fell from the horse and the animal ran into a concrete wall and was killed.

In the Nov. 17 game, Texas Tech upset Oklahoma 34-27, knocking the Sooners out of the national championship chase.