Indianapolis — March Madness is huge at Butler University in Indiana. But the most popular figure on campus can't shoot and won't jump, though he has been known to dribble. And he's about to graduate, so to speak. Here he comes — Butler Blue III — otherwise known as Trip (short for triple).
For seven years, Trip has wobbled and slobbered his way into the hearts of Butler University players and fans. A much-loved mascot with an irresistible mug.
Michael Kaltenmark has handled Butler bulldog mascots for 16 years and has described the experience as "incredible."
"They know when it's showtime and they love it," Kaltenmark said of the fans. "They thrive on it."
Trip was introduced in 2012. He's 8 now and Kaltenmark felt the time to retire had come.
Having recently undergone a life-saving kidney transplant, Kaltenmark will still work for Butler, but his dog days are done, too.
Last week was their final home game. It was an emotional last run for the two best friends. Next season, Trip's great-grand-nephew, Blue, will take over.
Tough to follow in Trip's big paw prints, but Blue seems well on his way.