Texas Tech Masked Rider Under Fire - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/27/07

Texas Tech Masked Rider Under Fire

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His face may be hidden, but the Texas Tech Masked Rider cannot hide the fact he performed a banned stunt. It took place during the Masked Riders traditional pre-gallop before the Tech/OU game on November 17th.

Some members of the Masked Rider committee met Tuesday to discuss what action should be taken. But Tech spokeswoman Sally Post says they are not sharing what was discussed at Tuesday's meeting.

Safety is what is in question. The committee plans on meeting again next week, but Tech students we spoke with say there should be no punishment for positive school spirit.

In the video you can see the Masked Rider, Kevin Burns, put Midnight Matador's reins between his teeth and then flash the guns up sign with both hands. But it seems the Masked Rider's display of spirit prior to the Tech/OU game fired up more than just the crowd. That's because this particular stunt was banned after several accidents in the early nineties.

In 1992, the practice of the Masked Rider galloping around the field to celebrate touchdowns was banned after a game official was hit by the horse. And just two years later, during a home game, more safety measures were set in place after the rider fell off the horse and the animal died after racing into a wall.

But according to Post, there is no specific penalty in the safety policy that bans the hands free run performed by the rider on November 17th.

Tech students we spoke with are rallying around the man behind the mask, saying Tech officials should let it ride.

"If he's going to be punished, I think it's a little touchy and over reactive on the committee's part for wanting to punish him for that," says Matt Whisenant, a Texas Tech student. 

"I don't think he should be punished at all for something like that," says Whitney Brewton, a Texas Tech student.

"I feel if he's the one controlling the horse, it's in his best judgment to control the situation," says Kaitlan Botkin, a Texas Tech student.

The full Masked Rider committee will meet again on December 6th to make a final decision. Coincidentally a picture of the hands free stunt is displayed on the Texas Tech Web site explaining the tradition behind the Masked Rider.

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