<
>

ASU reaches settlement with Tempe councilman after Sparky's failed photobomb

The saga of an incredibly unfortunate mascot photobombing attempt has reached its conclusion with a settlement totaling $76,342.

Arizona's risk management division awarded Tempe city councilman David Schapira that much on Wednesday about eight months after Sparky, the Arizona State mascot, accidentally injured him during halftime of a football game.

The Sun Devils were set to honor city leaders on the field during the Sept. 18 game last year, and Sparky snuck up behind Schapira and jumped onto his back as he was posing for a sideline photo. The incident was documented in this tweet:

Sparky didn't realize that Schapira was still recovering from back surgery two months earlier. The piggybacking sent the councilman to the hospital for four days and caused a muscle tear that prolonged his recovery and caused medical bills to balloon.

About six weeks after that, Schapira filed a claim against the Arizona Board of Regents for upwards of $120,000. He said he had no ill will toward Arizona State or its mascot and that he was simply asking for $96,146 in damages for himself and an additional $27,000 for insurance, which was funded through the city of Tempe.

"I'm not mad at ASU. I'm not mad at Sparky," Schapira told ESPN.com at the time. "Everyone wants to make it sound like I'm pissed off at them. But in reality, ASU has been very helpful. They contacted me the night I went to the hospital and almost daily since then."

Now that a settlement has been reached, the book is officially closed on this unfortunate incident, and we're guessing that Sparky will be much more reserved in his 2016 photobombing attempts.