You know Douglas Dokken, the guy who punched Goldy last Saturday at the gymnastics match?
Here’s a statement from St. Thomas spokesman Jim Winterer:
A University of St. Thomas mathematics professor has expressed regret over an incident that took place Saturday, March 5, at a University of Minnesota gymnastics meet.
The professor, Douglas Dokken, twice punched the face of the Goldy Gopher mascot. The punches resulted in damage to the mask portion of the costume. There have been no reports indicating that the student inside the costume was injured.
Dokken, who has taught mathematics at St. Thomas for 26 years and holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, is a longtime fan of the University of Minnesota athletics and frequently attends gymnastics meets.
At the meet on March 5, Dokken said he was attempting to watch the competition when the Gopher mascot sat behind him and over the course of several minutes did things to tease or annoy Dokken. A Minnesota Daily newspaper story on Wednesday, March 9, quoted a witness as saying the mascot was “messing with” Dokken.
At that point, Dokken lost his temper and punched the mascot’s face twice.
When the gymnastics meet concluded, University of Minnesota police discussed the situation with Dokken and issued him a citation for disorderly conduct and a “trespass warning,” which bans him from the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion and Williams Arena for a year.
Dokken said he deeply regrets the incident and is sorry. “I should have just walked out of there,” he said. He said he was relieved to hear that the student inside the costume was not harmed.
Winterer told me he hadn’t heard any discussion of what the university will do with Dokken, or what Tommy policy is in situations like this one. It sounded like Dokken’s embarrassment was enough, though:
“What he punched was the mask of a costume. I think if he had hurt that person it would have been different story.”