Michigan State Sparty mascot taking 3-week hiatus

The university is temporarily shutting down the program due to state emergency orders.
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 8:43 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The pandemic has been tough for many reasons, including the changes to sports and entertainment.

Just take it from Michigan State’s famous mascot Sparty.

The university announced this week that they would be pausing the mascot program for the next three weeks.

“Sparty is a student, like all other students at Michigan State, so he’s taking it day-by-day,” said Michigan State Alumni Office Communications Manager Aimee Klevorn. “It’s really kind of changed the way that he has been able to operate and the way that he’s been able to engage with our Spartans. It’s really been a unique circumstance for him this year.”

The official “Sparty” Facebook page released a video on November 14. It’s been almost a year since he’s been inside Spartan Stadium. Not only has be not been at football games since last season, but he truly hasn’t been able to do any type of event since the pandemic began in March.

“He’s known for his events, he’s known primarily for his sports, because those are kind of where he gets the most eyes on him,” said Klevorn. “But really all year round he does events with kids doing birthday parties, or weddings, or hospital visits.”

This has shaken up Sparty’s typical weekly schedule, but every student has had to adjust to university rules. Sparty is no different.

“He follows all of the same protocols. He hasn’t been attending any events,” said Klevorn. “I mean, he’s been on campus a few times for photoshoots or for a video shoot, but it’s all been socially distant in following all of the protocol necessary.”

It’s hard to say what will become of the program; one that has been around since 1955. All they can do for now is follow the state and university’s orders.

“When the time comes, he’s going to take all of the safety precautions,” said Klevorn.

Even if Sparty can’t get into any football games or do events, he’ll still be doing his pushups and giving waves in the meantime; getting ready for the day he can high-five and give hugs.

You can keep up with Sparty during his time away on his official Facebook page @MSUSparty.

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