Local News

Fall lands UNC mascot's keeper in hospital

Posted September 27, 2010

— The Carrboro farmer whose family has cared for generations of rams that have become mascots for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was clinging to life Monday following an accident on his farm.

Rob Hogan, 54, fell Sept. 15 as he stepped off his tractor. He woke the next morning unable to move his left leg and has since endured a series of surgeries, according to his family.

He was listed in critical condition Monday at UNC Hospitals, suffering from a condition in which damaged muscle tissue dies and releases toxins to the kidneys.

Hogan's grandfather started the tradition of painting the horns of a male Dorset sheep in UNC's school color in 1924 to serve as a mascot, named Rameses, at athletic games. The Hogan family is now up to Rameses XVIII.

"It's a unique mascot, this ram that we see on the field with the blue horns," UNC senior Zack Tyman said. "That's our manifestation of our school spirit, and it's a very important part of UNC."

"(Rameses has) always been such a big part of the Carolina community," UNC senior Torri Staton said. "We all walk around with our horns on and wear our Carolina blue like his horns."

Ramses UNC community sends well wishes to Rameses' keeper

Because of Hogan's illness, Rameses didn't make it to UNC's Sept. 18 home game against Georgia Tech. The athletic department has left it up to the family as to when they are ready to bring Rameses back.

Family members said it is unlikely that Rameses will make an appearance during UNC's football season this year.

Hogan's family is updating his progress on the Caring Bridge website. As of Monday evening, there had been almost 23,000 hits on the site, with many people offering well wishes.

"To him, (I say) 'I hope you pull through. Everybody on campus is wishing you well,' and to the family, 'You know our hearts and prayers are with you,'" Tyman said.

"We are hoping and praying for you to be better, and we always love you," Staton said.


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  • bear2010 Sep 28, 2010

    have a speedy recovery and many blessing to his family..I know the school and team misses him

  • FAN72 Sep 28, 2010

    Tragedy just seems to be heaping more and more on the Tar Heel family. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  • pebbles262004 Sep 28, 2010

    My prayers go out to him and his family. This is so sad, I hope that he will be better soon...

  • pebbles262004 Sep 28, 2010

    You know the farming college has alot of good people and people with good hearts. You may be suprised at how much they would be willing to help out in this case... You just have to give people a chance and not be so quick to put them down...

  • shortcake53 Sep 28, 2010

    Our prayers go out to him and his family. We truely hope he recovers quickly.

  • Adelinthe Sep 27, 2010

    My goodness, sending prayers for him.

    God bless.


  • monkeyboy Sep 27, 2010

    "Couldn't some of the UNC students or alumni help with Rameses' care and logistics until Mr. Hogan recovers?"

    doubtful. the farming college is down the street in raleigh. i'm sure you could ask someone from there for a little help, but i doubt they'll be very accomodating...

  • nandud Sep 27, 2010

    He's still in critical condition and has had surgery every single day since the accident happened, except for yesterday. He's lost part of his leg and his hip.

    Prayers to him and his family.

  • braddavis Sep 27, 2010

    bgreen, I take back what I said about NCSU classlessness. You are a kind man. Sometimes rivals take a back burner. I was a UNC cheerleader who ran the ram out and happen to know(not that close) Mr. Hogan. Again, thanks for your compassion from down Tobacco Road.

  • whocares Sep 27, 2010

    It seems like if UNC didn't have bad luck this year, they wouldn't have any at all. I hope that all of this turns into good luck with everyone involved. I hope Mr. Hogan has a complete and steady recovery.