The Mountaineer’s mascot is not as simple as someone putting on big head and a costume. Sure, there’s a costume involved, but it can’t be shared by two or three people. A single person is selected each year to be the WVU Mountaineer. The costume is tailored specifically to the person chosen and essentially, and that person grows a fitting beard and lives the role for the entire year.
This year, that person is Troy Clemons, and it’s actually his second year to be selected.
There is a downside to having your mascot linked to a specific person, though. And that’s when that person makes a mistake in their personal life, because by extension, it’s a reflection on West Virginia University. And that’s exactly the issue the Mountaineers find themselves in on Friday.
First reported by the Dominion Post, Troy Clemons was arrested on Friday morning for suspicion of driving under the influence. According to the report, Monongalia County Sheriffs pulled Clemons over for speeding, and at some point the deputy suspected Clemons of being intoxicated. Clemons was issued a breathalyzer test and allegedly blew a .126. Clemons was arrested, and later bonded out on personal cognizance.
West Virginia issued a statement on Friday afternoon where they announced that Clemons will be benched as the Mountaineer for the time being, but fear not WVU fans, there will be a mascot on the sidelines on Saturday. Trevor Kiess will take over Mountaineer duties as the alternate.
“West Virginia University is aware of this morning’s arrest of Troy Clemons, currently the Mountaineer Mascot, for speeding and misdemeanor driving under the influence,” the statement said. “While the Mountaineer Mascot Advisory Council gathers and reviews all the facts, Troy will not participate in any Mascot-related duties or appearances, including the events surrounding Saturday’s football game. As the alternate Mountaineer, those duties will be handled by Trevor Kiess, a junior accounting major minoring in pre-law and legal studies from Elkins. In addition to any legal outcomes, Troy — as any other WVU student — will be subject to appropriate student conduct proceedings.”
So you know what this means, right? It means the Mountaineer mascot is in trouble with the law as Oklahoma State mascot Sheriff Pistol Pete comes to town!