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The Daily Tar Heel

Rumors about assault on mascot prove to be untrue

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Rameses cheers up the crowd at the UNC-Washington game Sunday.

Despite rumors and apparent video evidence, Brown Walters, the director of UNC spirit programs, said the student in the Rameses costume was not punched at the men’s basketball NCAA championship game.

After the tragic UNC loss in the national championship game Monday, a video surfaced on the internet showing what appeared to be a fan punching Rameses in his oversized face.

Walters said it didn’t happen.

“He is fine. He was not assaulted by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.

Walters said the questionable footage shows the chaos at the end of the game as workers prepared for the awards ceremony.

“Basically what happened was, at the end of the game, the gentlemen were trying to get the staging for the awards process up onto the actual basketball court,” he said.

“As they were coming up, they bumped him, and when he turned around the guy then was trying to make space because he didn’t want for him to get hit by the stage.”

Walters said Rameses’ fall was not the result of a punch.

“He then tripped over a foot of one of the cheerleaders. That’s the reason he started to fall backwards,” he said.

Sophomore Paul Beam said he attended the game as a member of the marching band and witnessed Rameses falling down.

“I was eye-level with the court, and I saw that Rameses got knocked over,” he said.

Beam said he assumed Rameses was knocked over by security, and it wasn’t until he looked online the next day when he heard rumors of the punch.

“You can’t really see if there was a punch thrown in the video. At least I didn’t see it, but Rameses definitely falls back like he has been hit,” he said.

Beam said he was not surprised to learn the punch never happened, because he never fully believed it was real.

Kendall Harden, a UNC sophomore, said she saw the video when her mom texted her telling her to check it out.

“I Googled it because I thought there’s just no way he just got knocked out, but it looked like it,” she said. “It was interesting to say the least.”

Harden said she was happy to hear Rameses was okay.

“My mom will be very relieved to know that he was not punched,” she said.

Walters said people were just trying to do their jobs and the video was taken out of context.

“I think, just like most things in the world, people want to try and find something wrong in something that’s really not, because it’s more exciting to blow things up,” he said.

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