Prior to the 1971 season, the Southwest Conference passed a rule that prevented members of the conference from taking live animals to non-home games unless the host team had no objections. So Jim Gaspard, a member of the Saddle Tramps, created Raider Red from a drawing by the late Lubbock cartoonist Dirk West as an alternative to the Masked Rider. Raider Red's student persona is kept a secret from the Tech community. Red is a public relations mascot who shakes hands with the crowds at athletic events and poses for pictures. He changes from boots to high-top court shoes for basketball games. Raider Red fires his two 12-gauge shotguns using powder-filled shells after every Tech touchdown and field goal.