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It's nearly Ibis in mourning

Mascot's celebration: 15-yard penalty, 50-yard PAT, angry UM coach.

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 3, 2001


NEW ORLEANS -- Officially it was unsportsmanlike conduct, but it could have been called illegal Ibis on the field.

After Najeh Davenport scored on a 3-yard run to seal Miami's 37-20 victory, he got a big hug and kiss from the Hurricanes mascot, Sebastien the Ibis.

The overzealous act by the costumed cheerleader resulted in a 15-yard penalty against Miami, forcing Todd Sievers to kick the point after from 35 yards.

A penalty for too many men on the field moved it back again, but Sievers hit a 50-yard PAT.

After Sebastien drew the penalty, Miami coach Butch Davis was seen screaming at a member of his sports information staff on the sideline, and the mascot was booted off the field.

He returned moments later and was on the field celebrating with the team as the game ended.

It's not the first time a mascot has drawn a flag in a big bowl game. In the 1985 Orange Bowl, Oklahoma and Washington were tied 14-14 when Tim Lashar kicked a field goal that put the Sooners in front by three in the third quarter. The kick, however, was nullified by an illegal procedure penalty and the Ruff-Neks, the students who drive the Sooner Schooner, did not see the flag.

The Schooner galloped onto the field, as it does every time Oklahoma scores, and the officials threw a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct, costing 15 yards. This time Lashar's kick was blocked.

OU eventually led 17-14 but Washington rallied to win 28-17.

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