College Sports

Beloved bulldog mascot mourned at South Carolina university after unexpected death

While The Citadel was basking in its college football team’s upset victory over Georgia Tech last Saturday, there was some sad news waiting for the South Carolina military college.

One of its beloved English bulldog mascots had died.

“We’re heartbroken to report that General Robert P. Carson, affectionately known as General or G2, has passed away,” a tweet on The Citadel’s feed said.

General was eight years old, according to the tweet.

John Bradford takes care of the mascots and said General died last Friday night curled up next to Boo, The Citadel’s other English bulldog mascot, the military college said.

“General was playing not 20 minutes before he passed away with no suffering,” Bradford said of the male bulldog that he told The Citadel had not been sick.

Bradford said he waited until Sunday to report General’s death, saying he didn’t want to spoil the jubilant mood following the football team’s win.

The university released a statement about general Monday.

“We are all sad to hear about the passing of General,” said Cadet Breana Broad, regimental public affairs officer for the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. “The Citadel’s mascots are dearly loved by cadets — they are an important part of campus life and of our culture. We’ll make sure to look out for Boo. We know she’ll be lonely without him.”

The Citadel owns both bulldogs, previously saying on its website that “Boo and General’s main duty is to provide morale for the Corps of Cadets, faculty and staff and all of the Bulldog athletic teams. Other duties include barking at opposing teams, eating numerous dog biscuits throughout the day and being pampered by the cadets (who) help take care of them while school is in session.”

Cadets are not the only ones mourning General.

The official Twitter feed of Butler Blue III, Butler University’s English bulldog mascot, shared its sympathies.

“Godspeed, G2. And on behalf of everyone at Butler, I send heartfelt condolences to our Citadel Bulldog brethren,” the tweet said.

The University of Georgia, which also has an English bulldog for a mascot, has not tweeted about General. But General comes from the same bloodline as Uga, according to The Citadel’s website.

While Uga was recently named the greatest mascot in college football history, Bradford said “General was a rock star.”

“It would take us forever to get from our house on campus to the stadium or basketball games there were so many cadets and visitors wanting to take pictures,” Bradford said, according to The Citadel. “He was a diva — he loved the attention. He knew exactly how to pose, too. General was a natural.”

General and Boo had two litters of puppies, according to the college, which said one of them could replace eventually their father.

The college said it will plan “a memorial for General later in the semester, when he will be interred in The Citadel Mascot Memorial Columbarium located at Johnson Hagood Stadium.”

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.