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College Football

Arizona State’s mascot’s antics send area councilman to hospital


Arizona State University has apologized to a Tempe, Ariz., councilman after the sideline antics of the Sun Devils mascot, Sparky, during last Friday’s game ended with a trip to the hospital.

David Schapira has been on the mend for two months following back surgery and when Sparky jumped on his back during last week’s 34-10 win over the New Mexico Lobos, the councilman immediately knew something went awry.

“I kind of laughed at first, then my expression changes to terror as I felt that pop,” he said, via ABC-15.

The impromptu — and unexpected — piggyback ride caused a muscle tear. Schapira, already using a cane to get around, had to be carted off the field and taken to a hospital. His recovery from the original back surgery has been set back six weeks and he now needs a walker to get around. He later chronicled what transpired on Twitter.

Schapira, a current graduate student at the school, is a longtime Sun Devils fan and harbors no ill will toward Sparky for the injury.

“He was consoling me afterwards and I was kind of having to console him,” he said.

The university issued a statement apologizing for Sparky’s actions.

“ASU sincerely apologizes for Sparky’s excessive exuberance at Friday night’s game. University officials have been in regular contact with Councilman Schapira since the incident and we have offered our fullest assistance and cooperation in getting his bills paid and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

As noted in the statement, the school will cover the medical expenses related to the mishap.

In the future, Schapira will make certain everyone is aware of his back condition should he once again hang out on the sidelines during the game.

“I’ll wear a shirt saying ‘Be gentle’ or ‘Fragile, handle with care,” he joked.