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Friday, March 20, 2009
Utah State's mascot back on sidelines

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho -- "Big Blue" has served his sentence and will be back in uniform for Utah State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

The Aggies' mascot was suspended one game for scuffling with New Mexico State's "Pistol Pete" during Utah State's win in the Western Athletic Conference semifinals last week.

"We went ahead and suspended him for one game. He's back and will be ready to go," Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes said Thursday.

The Aggies open the East Regional against Marquette -- and look for Big Blue to be on his best behavior. The blue bull had to sit out Utah State's win over Nevada in the WAC title game.

The scuffle started after a fan offered the Utah State mascot $100 to rip off the large, fake mustache that's part of Pistol Pete's cowboy getup. That wrangled Pistol Pete, who chased Big Blue to the middle of the court and tried unsuccessfully to tackle and choke him.

After the fracas, Tyler Newbold hit a 15-foot jumper with 3.1 seconds left to give Utah State a 71-70 win, keeping alive its NCAA tournament hopes.

Utah State issued an apology and said the money Big Blue accepted was to go to a children's shelter. Barnes said he hoped the suspension put an end to the highly publicized incident.