UT President Fenves says Bevo’s safety procedures don’t need revising

Ross Burkhart

It’s been over three weeks since Bevo XV’s breakout at the Sugar Bowl went viral on social media. But make no mistake, the beloved Longhorn mascot is here to stay.

During a visit to the Austin American-Statesman, UT President Greg Fenves said that despite some outside speculation that the University should make changes to the safety procedures surrounding Bevo’s on-field appearance, officials will not be making any changes to the gameday routine for the steer, who turned 4 years old on Thursday.

“He’s an incredible animal and a great symbol for the University,” Fenves told the Statesman last week. “Seriously, we’re always looking at the protocols for Bevo at public events. I don’t think they need to be revised. There were some peculiarities of the new situation and a very crowded environment. The Silver Spurs will just have to be more cognizant as they handle Bevo.”

Fenves said the incident at the Sugar Bowl was due to the large crowd Bevo was surrounded by.

“It’s just the general issue of Bevo in large crowds and trying to keep him away from large crowds and at a safe distance,” Fenves said. “If you’ve seen him at our stadium, in the south end zone, there are very few people around him. You’ve got a fence around him. There’s a large distance between that fence and Bevo. The handlers are there. So it’s just being more cognizant and avoiding being close to crowds.”

Bevo is owned by Betty and John T. Baker, operators of the Sunrise Ranch in Liberty Hill, where the mascot spends his time whenever he isn’t participating in University festivities.

The mascot traveled to several road games during the season, including December’s Big 12 Championship Game.

“Bevo always travels on the road, in his trailer,” UT spokesman John Bianco told the Statesman in an email. “They plan out lengthy trips with multiple stops, but that’s his only mode of transportation.”

The Silver Spurs Alumni Association, which selects the student handlers responsible for taking care of Bevo on gameday, also has a “seven-figure liability insurance policy” for Bevo, according to UT records obtained by the Statesman.

Prior to the start of the Texas-Georgia bowl game on New Year’s Day, the Silver Spurs and Georgia officials arranged for a meeting between Bevo and Georgia’s famous bulldog mascot, Uga.

The meeting certainly did not go as planned when Bevo pushed through his enclosure and lunged toward Uga before he was pulled away. Statesman photographer Nick Wagner posted a picture afterward showing that Bevo’s horn left a scratch along his back. A Daily Texan photographer was also involved in the incident, getting bumped in the head by Bevo’s horn. No major injuries were reported as a result of the incident, however.

“We take the safety very seriously, but we’re going to continue to have Bevo as our mascot,” Fenves said.