You have really reached the point where, one way or another, in order to get an answer on which you can really, you will have to find a lawyer who will help you out, perhaps even pro bono or for reduced fee. This should not be that difficult in the area where you live!Ask a similar question
To be sure that the rightsholders of these 2 schools who have rights ot these 2 mascots won't sue you, you'd need releases from them. It's unlikely you'd get them.
And no one on Avvo is going to be able to give you a definitive answer about whether your wolf/panther creature infringes on either or both of the source mascots, and there's no bright line rule that says that certain changes, e.g., changing the color of the panther from yellow and blue to red and black, are enough to eliminate actual or potential consumer confusion among school team fans.
If you consult your own lawyer and show them the proposed wolf/panther and/or any words you want to use with them, your lawyer can analyze the source wolf and panther mascots and whatever else is out there, and also order a trademark search, you can get some specific advice.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.Ask a similar question
Based on your description you might face issues or legal scrutiny. The reason being that mashups of animal logos are prime targets. You might want to take a look at the link below to get a sense of similar situations that got all the wrong kind of attention.
I hope this helps.
Disclaimer: This answer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute general or specific legal advice, nor create an attorney client relationship.Ask a similar question