LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The secret life of mascots is like being a superhero: You get to perform mighty deeds and no one sees who's behind the mask.
And for the students who don the costumes of Western Kentucky University's "Big Red," the University of Kentucky's "Wildcat" or "Scratch," or the University of Louisville's Cardinal Bird "Louie" and cavort with the crowds at games and events, it's flat-out fun.
Take Shane Milburn, one of seven WKU students who portray the Hilltoppers' nationally known and androgynous mascot, Big Red.
Sure there are perks: traveling with the team, attending sporting events for free, and at least a partial scholarship. But that's not what drives the 22-year-old senior.
Milburn said just about whatever he thinks is "cool" he can do when he puts on that suit.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)