MACOMB, Ill. - Last week on January 24th during a timeout of the Western Illinois women's basketball game, a collision occurred between a member of the cheer team and the mascot Rocky. A video clip of the collision was put online and shown on television by national media outlets.
The cheerleader performing the flips thankfully came away uninjured after landing on the court. The student in the Rocky outfit, not one of the regular personnel to wear the Rocky suit, did suffer a mild concussion and sprained ankle. That student is currently recovering, but due to the injuries will not wear the Rocky suit for the remainder of the basketball season.
Mediacom broadcasted the South Dakota-Western Illinois women's game on tape delay.
According to Director of Athletics Dr. Tim Van Alstine, personnel are always on hand during home events to assist in treating injured individuals.
Illinois has received a great deal of national media attention over this
collision. During our home events in which the cheer team or Rocky performs, we
always have a member of the athletic training staff in attendance working. We
take whatever preventative measures we can, however, this was simply an
unfortunate collision that was caught on video by Mediacom. Thankfully our
cheerleader is ok and the student wearing the Rocky suit is recovering from
their injuries," said Van Alstine. "Head injuries are a serious matter. Rocky was
immediately taken back to the training room, and that student did not return to
the court. Our cheerleader was fine, she declined medical attention. I want to
thank our cheerleaders for all the hours they put in at practice and at the
games. Our athletic training staff was very professional in handling the
situation. Again, it was an unfortunate accident caught on video, but
thankfully our cheerleader is fine, the student in the Rocky suit will recover,
and Rocky will be back at our next event ready to cheer on the fans."