News from MSU Media Relations--June 29

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...MSU Athletics and Softball.

MSU Athletics
STARKVILLE, Miss. - TaTonka Gold, Mississippi State's beloved mascot from 2001-09, was euthanized Tuesday morning at the School of Veterinary Medicine on the MSU campus after his health had steadily declined over the past few years. Bully XIX, as he was affectionately known, was the first official mascot purchased and cared for by the University.

Also known as "Bully", "Tonka" and "T-Money", he was euthanized at approximately 10:00 a.m. Tuesday at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine. Present were his adopted parents and lifetime friends, Lisa and Al Chrestman of Mathiston, Miss. Also present were his doctor since puppyhood, Dr. Margaret Kern, and attending clinician, Dr. Christine Bryan. Many university friends, students, faculty, and staff extended their condolences to the Chrestmans.

During the past few years, he had been diagnosed and treated for disease processes including osteoarthritis, spondylosis, a splenic mass, and inflammatory bowel disease. Despite treatment with multiple medications and other treatment modalities such as physical therapy, his health steadily declined. Recently, he was no longer responding favorably to treatment, thus leading to the decision of humane euthanasia.

Bully XIX was born in 2000 and served faithfully as the mascot for nine years, attending many Bulldog football and basketball games, alumni functions and State-themed parties. In 2006, he sired State's current mascot, Bully XX (Champ), who took over his father's duties as MSU's mascot in 2009 and still serves the role today.

A memorial service for Bully XIX has not been decided upon at the current time. More information will be released when it becomes available. Those wishing to make a donation in his memory can do so through The Jennifer L. Hartsog Bully Fund or to The CARE Fund through the Animal Health Center. Both the Bully Fund and The CARE Fund are part of the MSU Foundation.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's Individual Skills Softball Camp, scheduled for July 18-21, has been cancelled, Bulldog head coach Vann Stuedeman announced on Tuesday.

"It's with deep regret that we will not be hosting the Individual Skills Camp in July," Stuedeman said. "I am extremely excited about hosting future camps and helping develop championship softball players that will one day hopefully wear the Maroon and White!"

Refunds will be given to participants already registered for the camp. To inquire about a refund, contact Office Associate Michelle Scrivener at (662) 325-0560 or by e-mail at

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