Diesel, NIU`s husky mascot, retiring after 9 years - FOX 35 News Orlando

Diesel, NIU`s husky mascot, retiring after 9 years

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Photo courtesy of NIU's Facebook page and Alfred Born Taboada. Photo courtesy of NIU's Facebook page and Alfred Born Taboada.
DEKALB, Ill. (Associated Press) -

Northern Illinois' blue-eyed husky mascot is retiring after spending nine years on the sidelines.

The high-fiving canine is a furry fixture at Huskies games along with his owner, Tom Bonnevier. The school's athletics director, Sean Frazier, says in a statement that Diesel "has become the face of Huskie football."

The university says 10-year-old Diesel will be honored during Tuesday night's game against Western Michigan. Once he becomes the school's "mascot emeritus," he'll be replaced by a husky named Mission. The new mascot is nearly 2-years-old.

The 18th-ranked team remains unbeaten this season and is hoping for a second consecutive BCS bid.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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