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Fresno State's BCS rise also raises notoriety of California street gang

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The mascot now plays a double role as football icon and gang symbol. Confusing the two can have fatal consequences. In 2011, Stephen Maciel, a father of four who the police said had no gang affiliation, was shot and killed by a Bulldogs rival in a liquor store parking lot. Maciel was wearing a red Fresno State shirt. The gang’s embrace of the bulldog logo has put university administrators in an excruciatingly awkward position amid a gang crisis that has claimed hundreds of lives. The situation has vexed them, even as sales of Fresno State apparel and merchandise increased tenfold since the gang took hold in the city. The university has considered dropping the logo, and has approached law enforcement officials for guidance.

From Fresno State Loves Its Bulldogs, but So Does a Gang by the New York Times' Malia Woolan. The Fresno State Bulldogs: an 8-0 football team with a shot at the Fiesta Bowl. The Fresno Bulldogs: a Central California gang with thousands of members, dozens of annual murders to its name, and ties to international trafficking.
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