After a lively and sometimes productive discussion of the Goldy Gopher video we posted earlier today, we received this evening an official response from the University of Minnesota. Daniel Wolter, the director of University News Service, was kind enough to pass it along. Here it is:
We have had a discussion with Goldy about the incident in Penn State on Saturday. It certainly wasn't his intent to offend anyone or trivialize their religion. The life of a mascot at a sporting event is fast-paced and enormously high energy. This was plainly a mistake. On behalf of Goldy and the University of Minnesota, I want to apologize to the Penn State player involved and anyone else who may have taken offense from this incident. We have reiterated to Goldy the importance of exercising appropriate religious sensitivity in the future.
Of note, too: this Penn State blog has a reaction from the player in question, Jerome Hayes. He said he saw the video and wasn't bothered. But he added: "When I got up, I couldn't hear what he said, and he tried to shake my hand. I wasn't trying to have any part of that."