A dead longhorn was found on the lawn of an off-campus Oklahoma State University fraternity a day before the Cowboys face off against the University of Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 championship football game.
Police in Stillwater, Oklahoma, are investigating.
The Oklahoma State FarmHouse Fraternity said in a statement that no one in its chapter was involved in the incident Friday morning in which a “deceased carcass of a longhorn cow had been discarded in the front yard of our chapter house, branded with a phrase referencing our chapter in an inappropriate matter.”
The chapter is just as “sickened and surprised by this incident as our peers on campus,” the statement said, adding that “it is disheartening to see the disregard for proper animal welfare.”
Oklahoma State University said it is “appalled at the disturbing display of animal cruelty that occurred overnight.” The school said the Office of Student Support and Conduct is also investigating.
The 11-1 Texas Longhorns sit in first place in the Big 12 Conference heading into Saturday’s championship game against the 9-3 Oklahoma State Cowboys, who are in second place in the conference.
Rebecca Cohen is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.