UAB AD Mark Ingram quickly learned that bringing a Komodo dragon to campus was a bad idea

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
It would have been extremely dangerous to have a live Komodo dragon at Legion Field. (Michael Wade/Getty Images)
It would have been extremely dangerous to have a live Komodo dragon at Legion Field. (Michael Wade/Getty Images)

University of Alabama-Birmingham athletic director Mark Ingram didn’t know what a Komodo dragon was.

Well, he kind of did. But not really.

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Ingram, who was hired at UAB in 2015 after a stint at Temple, was inspired by a tradition he started with the Owls — where he partnered with the Philadelphia Zoo to bring a live owl to their games.

Now, that’s a fun idea. Temple fans love it, too. So, when he moved to UAB and learned their mascot was the Blazers, he tried to bring a real, live dragon to Legion Field.

It didn’t take long for him to learn how bad and extremely dangerous that idea really was.

From AL.com:

“I thought the same thing coming here. How cool would it be to get a Komodo dragon? As luck would have it, within my first couple of weeks, someone from the Birmingham Zoo was here for a meeting. Introduced, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you’re here. I’ve got this idea I want to share with you. What do you think having a Komodo dragon?’ And they looked at me like I was crazy.

“They said, ‘You understand this is basically like an alligator?’ I said, ‘No, I didn’t. I thought it was more like a large iguana.’ They said, ‘No, it’s a meat-eating carnivore and it’d be like having an alligator here.’

“I said, ‘Oh, OK, well maybe you could bring it, it could be in a cage? Because LSU and Memphis, there’s a lot of people who have tigers like that.’ They said, ‘Well, what about the spit?’ I said, ‘I don’t understand.’

“They said, ‘They spit at their prey and the spit causes paralysis. So, you know, they can go and eat it.’ I said, ‘So this is a bad idea is what you’re saying?’

“Children getting spit on and paralyzed, and eaten, potentially, by the Komodo dragon. I thought it seemed like a great idea, but apparently it’s not as good of an idea as I once thought.”

Hey, Ingram deserves points for creativity here. After all, no other school would have had a live dragon on campus like that.

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