indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
NCAA won't allow Indian mascots at playoff games
Monday, August 8, 2005

The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced its new mascot policy on Friday, limiting the use of imagery deemed "hostile and abusive" to Native Americans.

Starting February 1, 2006, 18 schools with Indian-themed mascots, nicknames or symbols will not be allowed to use or display their images in post-season NCAA tournaments. The institutions won't be allowed to host such events in the future either. Previously scheduled playoffs at these schools will occcur as planned, but the schools "must take reasonable steps to cover up" the references to Indians, the NCAA said.

The policy, approved by the NCAA Executive Committee on Thursday, doesn't bar member schools from using Indian imagery to promote their athletic programs. "But as a national association, we believe that mascots, nicknames or images deemed hostile or abusive in terms of race, ethnicity or national origin should not be visible at the championship events that we control," said Walter Harrison, the chair of the committee and president at the University of Hartford.

The changes come in response to decades of complaints by Indian activists and tribal organizations. As far back as the 1950s and 1960s, leaders in Indian Country objected to the use of names like the "Redskins" and the "Braves," saying they promoted stereotypes and discrimination.

Hundreds of secondary and post-secondary schools have dropped their Indian mascots as a result. But a number of high-profile holdouts, such as the University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" and the University of Illinois' "Chief Illiniwek," remain on playing fields across the nation.

Those schools will now be under pressure to change their mascots, National Congress of American Indians President Tex Hall said. "This is a big step in the right direction," he said on Friday. "We hope that in the future the uses of Indian mascots are discontinued in all sports arenas," he added.

Not everyone in Indian Country agreed with the changes, however. Joseph Sowmick, a spokesperson for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan, said the decision "is not acceptable" and was made without tribal consultation. The tribe backs the "Chippewas" of Central Michigan University.

"The rich relationship that the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe has with CMU cannot be determined by an outside entity without contacting the institution and the government involved," he said.

Leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida also criticized the move. In June, the tribal council passed a resolution in support of the "Seminoles" mascot of Florida State University, citing the long relationship between the two. The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma opposes the image, though.

Responses from the institutions themselves were largely negative. "I intend to pursue all legal avenues to ensure that this unacceptable decision is overturned, and that this university will forever be associated with the 'unconquered' spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida," said FSU President T.K. Wetherell.

The process began in November 2004, when the NCAA asked 33 schools to justify their use of Indian images. Some cited tribal support for the mascots while others simply argued that the symbols are not offensive to Native Americans.

David Gipp, the president of the United Tribes Technical College, wrote to the NCAA Subcommittee on Gender and Diversity last month to call for the removal of the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo at UND. All the Sioux tribes in the Plains have passed resolutions against the name.

"I believe there should be some consequences for essentially promoting a racially biased point of view by use of a derogatory stereotypical name for sports teams, and I also believe that the NCAA is in a position to do something about it," wrote Gipp, an alumnus of UND.

The NCAA backed that stance in its policy, which applies to 18 colleges and universities. With the exception of five schools, every school is located in the Eastern or Midwestern part of the country.

Another 14 schools had removed all Indian imagery or were deemed not to reference Indian culture, the NCAA said. One school, the College of William and Mary, was given an extension to review its "Tribe" mascot.

One school, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, was excluded from the policy altogether. The NCAA determined that the "Braves" mascot was acceptable because the school was founded to serve members of the Lumbee Tribe. Native Americans make up 20 percent of the student body.

The following 18 schools are affected:
  • Alcorn State University (Braves)
  • Central Michigan University (Chippewas)
  • Catawba College (Indians)
  • Florida State University (Seminoles)
  • Midwestern State University (Indians)
  • University of Utah (Utes)
  • Indiana University-Pennsylvania (Indians)
  • Carthage College (Redmen)
  • Bradley University (Braves)
  • Arkansas State University (Indians)
  • Chowan College (Braves)
  • University of Illinois-Champaign (Illini)
  • University of Louisiana-Monroe (Indians)
  • McMurry University (Indians)
  • Mississippi College (Choctaws)
  • Newberry College (Indians)
  • University of North Dakota (Fighting Sioux)
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State University (Savages)

NCAA Announcement:
NCAA Executive Committee Issues Guidelines for Use of Native American Mascots at Championship Events (August 5, 2005)

Relevant Links:
NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee - http://www1.ncaa.org/eprise/main/
membership/governance/assoc-wide/moic/index.html

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media - http://www.aimovement.org/ncrsm

Related Stories:
NCAA committee to take up Indian mascots (8/3)
TV stations challenged on use of 'Redskins' name (07/22)
Giago: Seminole Tribe wrong on Indian mascots (07/19)
Appeals court keeps 'Redskins' lawsuit alive (07/18)
Opinion: Changing mascots is a waste of time (07/15)
Mascots not only an issue for Native Americans (7/14)
Opinion: It's time for racist mascots to go (7/14)
Seminole Tribe doesn't have problem with mascots (07/05)
NCAA committee won't call for ban on Indian mascots (6/28)
Seminole Nation opposes FSU's 'Seminoles' mascot (6/23)
Seminole Tribe supports FSU's 'Seminoles' mascot (6/21)
Editorial: Not all 'Indian' mascots are offensive (05/31)
Harjo: NCAA should ban all 'Native' imagery (5/27)
FSU defends use of 'Seminole' mascot in NCAA letter (05/17)
Schools defend Indian mascots in reports to NCAA (5/16)
Editorial: UND's 'Fighting Sioux' report not truthful (05/06)
FSU preparing report on use of 'Seminole' mascot (04/29)
Virginia tribe not offended by school's nickname (04/26)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe supports CMU nickname (04/13)
Drunk Student: Chief Illiniwek is not offensive to Natives (04/07)
Group protests university's 'Fighting Sioux' name (03/28)
UNC-Pembroke stands by its 'Braves' nickname (03/09)
UND asked to study 'Fighting Sioux' name again (02/17)

Copyright 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Deadly storm hits Crow Creek Sioux Reservation (7/3)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud youth hold suicide awareness walk (7/3)
Delphine Red Shirt: Speak the Lakota language to carry on culture (7/3)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules trust reform hearing (7/3)
Chumash Tribe wins dismissal of suit over status of reservation (7/3)
Four groups in Oklahoma seeking federal recognition through BIA (7/3)
Little Shell Chippewa Tribe welcomes federal recognition reforms (7/3)
Leader of Duwamish Tribe calls denial of recognition 'devastating' (7/3)
Editorial: Other tribes in Virginia deserve federal recognition too (7/3)
Ojibwe hockey star excited for transfer to team in nation's capital (7/3)
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe wants sacred rock on national register (7/3)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe won't give up on wind energy despite delays (7/3)
Catawba Nation fought against British during Revolutionary War (7/3)
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho revives powwow after 15-year absence (7/3)
Taos Pueblo man sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing (7/3)
Disputed leader of Chukchansi Tribe sentenced for clash at casino (7/3)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe starts work on Class II gaming facility (7/3)
Tohono O'odham Nation faces state in court in new casino lawsuit (7/3)
Cherokee Nation to open hotel at $80M casino near Arkansas in fall (7/3)
Brian Pierson: Tribal labor sovereignty could land in Supreme Court (7/3)
Pierre Bergeron: Judges split on federal labor law at tribal casinos (7/3)
Native Sun News: Lakota riders complete journey to Little Bighorn (7/2)
Lakota Country Times: Newspaper takes home top honors at NAJA (7/2)
Brandon Ecoffey: Delivering stories that matter to Indian Country (7/2)
Ivan Star: Creating a culturally appropriate economy at Pine Ridge (7/2)
Elizabeth Hawksworth: Being patriotic and being Native in Canada (7/2)
Micah A: Blood quantum does not make me any less of an Indian (7/2)
David Shorter: Learning not to speak on behalf of Native peoples (7/2)
Marc Simmons: Legend of Catholic priest saved by grateful tribe (7/2)
Sen. McCain deemed responsible for land swap at sacred Oak Flat (7/2)
A Tribe Called Red releases free remix of Buffy Sainte-Marie track (7/2)
Pamunkey Tribe wins final federal recognition decision from BIA (7/2)
Duwamish Tribe rejected for federal recognition for a third time (7/2)
BIA accused of blocking road access on New Mexico reservation (7/2)
Chippewa Cree Tribe elects Ken St. Marks as chair for fourth time (7/2)
Mississippi Choctaw leader comes out on top in unofficial results (7/2)
Bois Forte Band grows economy with second Tim Hortons Cafe (7/2)
Chickasaw Nation hails selection of permanent Indian law chair (7/2)
Editorial: Gila River Indian Community to blame for highway path (7/2)
Cow Creek Band continues to oppose new Coquille Tribe casino (7/2)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes renovate casino resort (7/2)
Four more tribes in New Mexico enter Class III gaming compact (7/2)
Editorial: Pojoaque Pueblo gets pass on illegal gaming operation (7/2)
Save Oak Flat caravan plans journey to DC to protect sacred site (7/1)
Court reluctantly backs NLRB in Saginaw Chippewa Tribe dispute (7/1)
Native Sun News: Opposition grows to delisting of grizzly bears (7/1)
Lakota Country Times: Reservation counties rank as deadliest (7/1)
Steve Russell: Professor outed as Cherokee fraud once again (7/1)
Harlan McKosato: Indian people survive despite mistreatment (7/1)
Marshall Matz: Fight for $380M in Keepseagle funds continues (7/1)
BIA acquires former military site in trust for Ho-Chunk Nation (7/1)
Appropriations bill adds $10M for tribal courts in PL280 states (7/1)
Sen. Murkowski questions definition of 'Indian' for health care (7/1)
South Dakota board won't back name change for sacred peak (7/1)
Fort Peck Tribes take on cost for homes promised by Brad Pitt (7/1)
Hoopa Valley Tribe orders water restrictions as tanks run dry (7/1)
Cherokee Nation certifies results of election for top positions (7/1)
Secretary Sally Jewell reaffirms opposition to racist mascots (7/1)
Virginia tribes hindered by racist policies created by one man (7/1)
Column: Native Code Talkers defended nation with languages (7/1)
Guilty plea for stabbing of BIA superintendent in South Dakota (7/1)
Opposition group rallies over Miccosukee Tribe land-into-trust (7/1)
Pojoaque Pueblo keeps casino open after gaming deal expires (7/1)
Court allows lawsuit for incident at Tonto Apache Tribe casino (7/1)
Navajo Nation Council approves bill to share gaming revenue (7/1)
Soboba Band celebrates 20th anniversary for gaming facility (7/1)
Mashantucket Tribe extends agreement for $1.7B casino debt (7/1)
BIA adopts new policy regarding federal recognition process (6/30)
Supreme Court agrees to resolve another Indian law dispute (6/30)
Patrick Murphy: Star Trek's William Shatner visits Navajoland (6/30)
Yvette Roubideaux: Making progress at Indian Health Service (6/30)
Native Sun News: Wambli Ska group shares culture with youth (6/30)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.