By Caroline Lowe, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A University of St. Thomas math professor is banned from the Sports Pavilion and Williams Arena for one year, after he punched Minnesota mascot Goldy Gopher in the face.

Sixty-year-old Doug Dokken has been a St. Thomas professor for 26 years and holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Last Saturday at the men’s gymnastics meet, Goldy was just doing what he does at every U of M event — cheering on the fans, hanging out in the bleachers and playfully touching some of his fans.

When Goldy touched Dokken, he became annoyed.

“Goldy tapped him once or twice on the shoulder, the man became upset, turned around and punched Goldy twice in the mask,” said Lt. Troy Buhta of the University of Minnesota Police Department.

Goldy, who is a 19-year-old student, wasn’t hurt — but his mask was damaged. He contacted police and Dokken was cited for disorderly conduct.

“He said he was upset by the fact that Goldy was bothering him and felt humiliated and that’s the reason for his aggression that day,” Buhta said.

Dokken was back in the classroom teaching math Wednesday at St. Thomas. He released a statement saying he “deeply regrets” punching Goldy and is “sorry,” adding, “I should have just walked out of there.”

Dokken also said he was relieved that no one was hurt.

Comments (69)
  1. Lower Middle Class man says:

    I guess Math Teacher don’t have a sense of humor.

  2. DieGopherDie says:

    Lucky dude….i’ve been fixin to knock that gopher out for years!!!

    1. MGA says:

      You must be from WI. Every college has their mascotte. That you don’t like Goldy is your problem. The problem here is that a man that thinks he should be respected just lost a lot of respect.

      1. MGaLOSER says:

        Shut up MGA. It was a joke…you know sarcasim? The fact you didnt find it funny, or at least midly ammusing speaks volume of your character and to the size of the stick stuck up your hoohoo.

        Have you ever even seen CaddyShack…you know billy murray trying to kill the golfer (gopher). God you are pathetic and i wish you nothing but pain and misery for the rest of your life. May you eat rocks!!

    2. MGA says:

      No one wishes death on any mascotte. If you are in college, I hope your parents are paying because a wise person choosing their words more carefully.

      1. Scott says:

        He is a pretty good prof. I had him as a sub a couple times he seems good. Pretty hardcore rock climber too =)

        People’s tempers just run wild. He obviously wasn’t being “respected” as a doctor ought to!

  3. Shane G says:

    And why isn’t he terminated from the job? FIRE HIM. If I did that at my workplace….I’d be gone the same day..they would get rid of me in minutes. He punched a student in a costume. Whose to say what he’d do if he got mad during a class session. We don’t need another “Amy Bishop.”

    1. harryoya says:

      Good thing he does not work in your workplace it must be hard to work with annoying mascots.

    2. Duh. says:

      He doesn’t work at the University of Minnesota. He works at St. Thomas. That information comes from the title of the article.

    3. Laurie Johnson Hanel says:

      Because he is a professor at St Thomas, not at the U of M – he just has a degree from there.

    4. Edward Eubanks says:

      He was not at his workplace.
      He was not on the job.
      He was at a sporting event.
      Will you get fired from your job if you punch somebody at a Vikings game?

      Besides he punched the mask. There is a ton of air between the mask and the student’s head. Didn’t hurt the student. Didn’t bother the gopher either. He smiled through the whole thing.

      1. MGA says:

        Even if he isn’t at the event he represents the college. Just as if I were working for the Vikings and weren’t on the field, I would be responsible for my behavior.

    5. grantathinkcloud says:

      Get over it. Rawr.

    6. Chelsie Peterson says:

      They don’t fire him because he’s actually an amazing professor….

  4. Hannah says:

    Shane, the professor is from St. Thomas. The punching occurred on the U of MN campus. Is Prof. Dokken’s place of employment relevant to the story?

  5. Shane G says:

    @Hannah…Yes it is relevant to the story. He’s a professor…teaches students..*Hint Hint* Get’s easily irritated when a masked gopher playfully taps him on the shoulder…and then punches him. That doesn’t concern you?

  6. patraulea says:

    Shane, why don’t you relax a little bit? All he did was punch a mascot costume. He didn’t hurt anyone, technically. There’s no way he deserves to be fired for something as small as that!

  7. Get It Right says:

    PAY ATTENTION SHANE! – He wasn’t fired because he didn’t do it at his workplace! That is probably why you would be fired because you aren’t thorough in the things you do.

  8. STTALUM says:

    Something doesn’t add up. Prof wasn’t fired because it was a gopher that was punched not a tommy. Wonder if it sentenced, if his time will be in rational or transcendental months?

  9. Shane G says:

    I don’t need to relax. You’re telling me that it doesn’t even concern you slightly that a professor who teaches students gets that easily irritated with a mascot and punches it?? You must be his diehard student fans.

    1. shane Gx2 says:

      you must be a diehard diehard fan.

    2. Kyle Turley says:


      you sound like a whiny LITTLE BABY!!! Quit crying! It is funny that the Gopher got rocked, nothing more, I hope Doug Dokken gets you next!

    3. harryoya says:

      This mascot is very annoying, and touched(assaulted) the professor repeatedly first, so you could say he was provoked. I aslo think you do need to relax.

  10. Inappropriate says:

    Why is it acceptable for a guy dressed as a mascot to touch fans?? If he wasn’t in a costume, it wouldn’t be acceptable. Getting the fans to cheer doesn’t require touching!

    1. Billy Gambo says:

      RIGHT ON!

      Goldy grabbed my wife inappropriately a few years back…I am glad a crusader like Doug Dokken put him in his place, I hope Doug Dokken gets an award for his hilarious/heroic actions!

      1. OMGsoFUNNY says:

        LOLOL….Goldy got handsy with this dudes wife….EPIC.

        What your back Billy…..Goldy’s probably got at least one, if not two, up on you short stack!!

      2. Billy Gambo says:

        I know, GOLDY should change his name to Chester or Lester…I hope that Maniac DOUG DOKKEN sends him to the hospital next time!!!

  11. Shane G says:

    So basically if I work at ‘TCF Bank’ and I rob a U.S. Bank, that’s perfectly okay because I don’t work there??? WAKE UP!

    1. shane Gx2 says:

      you robbed a bank?

    2. Karen says:

      You go to jail for that. You might get fired as a result of doing something that would send you to jail. It’s an entirely different context. It’s still not right, but it’s not something worth firing over.

    3. CRC says:

      Dude, just stop posting. Your not very smart and that analogy is just stupid.

  12. tom says:

    The man didn’t have any humor, lol, hate to be in his class. also 60 years old and hits a 19 year old. Ever hear of assault , loss of job, suspension???? If a plain old blue collared guy did that, he would have been charge, booked and locked up for intent to injure, assault and battery, plus disorderly conduct and probably terrorist threats.

    1. shane Gx2 says:

      finally someone with a wrong opinion!

      1. Shane Gx2x2 says:

        You are still alive shane Gx2…..what a shame and a waste.

    2. harryoya says:

      Hey Tom ,Goldy assaulted him first, or is some assaulting acceptable(if it is an educated individual)?

      1. Villageidiot says:

        simply touching someone by definition is not assault. Also note that Dokken was not charged with assault. So your point is mute.

      2. Word Guru says:

        point is moot, moot, m, o, o, t…

  13. Shane G says:

    You all are posers. I’m sure he got a ‘fan base’ going during his Wednesday math session, telling his students and now the ones that are dedicated to him are sticking up for him. Remind me not to enroll at St. Thomas, I can see the maturity levels are that of Jr. High School students.

    1. shane Gx2 says:

      posers? are you taking a picture? hold on let me get my hair puffed up

    2. WhatUpShane says:

      Dude…these people are LOSERs for coming after you like that. I can definetly see your point…its a very valid point. However i dont agree with you. If i went to a game and punched the mascot…i would flip out if i was fired for when i got to work on Monday!! We as a society dont always have to come out swinging for the fences. At the end of that day, all that happened was a costume was damaged…big deal. I have other stuff to worry about other than not Goldy not geting his deposit back on his costume rental.

      1. shane Gx2 says:

        dude, TOTALLY!!!!!!!

    3. Kevin says:

      First, who is posing? Second, no St. Thomas professor would get his students to go on the WCCO website and defend him from an anonymous “Shane”. Get over yourself. Third, give us some credit, we’re at least as mature as 10th graders, even if we read at a 12th grade level.

  14. FriendofDennytheHuckster says:

    Just put the stupid mascot on a spit and roast him.

  15. Kate says:

    Slow news day, huh??

  16. Jake says:

    I think Goldy guy is a little wimp for calling the fuzz, little girl gopher mascot, man up wimpy!

  17. Chuck&Don says:

    It was cruelty to an animal.

  18. Jon says:

    He won’t be able to attend the 10,000 Lakes Regional for FIRST Robotics now! Guess he’ll just have to stick with the North Star Regional at Mariucci.

  19. Robin says:

    I know how dangerous it is to be hit in the face wearing a Mascot head, the heads are very heavy and the person can be seriously injured when it. My Brother and Sister-in-Law wear the Mascot Costumes at the Steele County Fair and my Brother has been hit numerous times. He had a whiplash resulting from a punch in the face. And he wasn’t even aware the kid was there, came by complete surprise! I’m glad the man was held responsible for his actions.

  20. stupidmascot says:

    i say goldy had it coming…what gives him the right to go around putting his paws all over everyone…i hate them overstuffed freaks!

    1. stupidmathprof says:

      All mascots touch people. If you don’t like them, just try and stay away from them. If you tell him not to touch you and he continues to then just walk away but unless he molests you, you do not have the right to punch him in the face.

      1. stupidmascot says:

        If he wasn’t wearing that costume would goldys handstand behavior be appropriate…um NO.

        So keep ur paws off…fuzzball

  21. jay says:

    This is nothing. Big whoop. 20 years ago you never would have heard of this if it had happened. Now with the media jumping on every little thing, this qualifies as “news”. And meaningless stories like this get all the attention from us, when really there is a another story just below (‘U’ Professors Charged With Fraud For Being On 2 Payrolls) we should be more concerned with.

  22. Turk E says:

    For those of you who think the prof. should befired…maybe his boss is afraid to let him go for fear of getting Goldy’d in the face.

    I think Goldy was taught a valuable life lesson by the math professor, and he didn’t even have to pay St Thomas tuition. Sounds like a bargain to me.

  23. Dokkenhater says:

    I had him at St. Thomas and he is not cut out for teaching. He should have been let go from St. Thomas a long time ago. When I saw the title I knew exactly who it was. The man is nuts. With that being said he does a lot of rock climbing and someone I would not want to be punched in the face by. He is the Chuck Norris of math teachers.

  24. GoG says:

    Its Minneapolis, when does anyone get arrested for anything?

  25. Jake says:

    Since they were in the ‘Barn’, did the prof land a Haymaker?

  26. rational guy says:

    Was the prof out of line- yes. Do we expect better behavior from professionals- yes. Was his action classless-for sure. That said, it’s still not a fireable offense. If st. Thomas did fire him for this he would absolutely win a wrongful termination lawsuit.

  27. Kevin says:

    You know…I always wanted to kiss his ass too….

  28. ShaneForPrez says:

    I am with Shane on this. This guy should be fired. So all you attacking Shane because it’s not a big deal to punch a kid in a costume. I would say you best not be knocking on my door on halloween when your kid is a being a little punk I might punch him because he is a kid in a costume and that’s ok. It’s ok because I am not at my job and it has nothing to do with my job!

  29. CJ says:

    WOW – the logic in comments here is just ridiculous – truly remarkable ignorance on display, so thanks for the laughs. And I am tryly amazed at how many commenters apparently didn’t read the story or have any of the facts before they commented. That can be the only logical explanation to the absolute ignorance on display throughout the comments here. And the logic involved in some of your thinking just boggles the mind. I feel for any defendent who has any of these idiit commenters on their jury.

  30. justice fleeting says:

    I didn’t know math professors were so up-tight.

  31. William Newsreader says:

    Sounds like Goldy is “playfully” bullying fans and makin fun of them. It’s about time someone stood up and kicked is a s s.

  32. Slappy says:

    I hope Sen Kloberchar works to pass legislation to eliminate this type of activity immediately!

  33. ck says:

    Goldy should have realized the man didn’t want anything to do with him and left him alone. Sometimes the mascotts are embarassing and annoying. If he was trying to concentrate on the game he has that right. He paid for a ticket -Goldy didn’t!

  34. cj says:

    My Wheaton Terrier would like a shot at that gopher and the prof…annoying pests!

  35. cmz says:

    i believe he should be terminated, for he is in a private place and he just attacked someone. also, it is not a good reason to say that he was annoyed.

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