indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
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:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge's David Michaud wins fighting match (12/19)
Mark Trahant: Old school budgets a better deal for Indian Country (12/19)
Ruth Hopkins: Boycott a repeat offender of cultural appropriation (12/19)
8th Circuit sides with Omaha Tribe in reservation boundary case (12/19)
BIA finalizes rule to add Alaska tribes to land-into-trust process (12/19)
Obama signs measure to extend VAWA tribal provision to Alaska (12/19)
Wyandotte Nation set to break ground on $1.4M cultural center (12/19)
Man from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe charged for cousin's murder (12/19)
Opponents of Cowlitz Tribe plan appeal of gaming land decision (12/19)
Menominee Nation off-reservation casino supporters hold rally (12/19)
Bear River Band hires tribal member as casino general manager (12/19)
Column: Poarch Creek gaming is only thing working in Alabama (12/19)
Column: Wait for decision on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino (12/19)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe inaugurates new leadership (12/18)
Walt Lamar: Cooperation helps address crime in Indian Country (12/18)
Brandon Ecoffey: Tournament shows hope of the Lakota people (12/18)
Editorial: Showing caution for marijuana sales in Indian Country (12/18)
Editorial: New York governor makes right call to outlaw fracking (12/18)
Fines for foes of Tohono O'odham Nation off-reservation casino (12/18)
New York passes over tribes for first commercial casino licenses (12/18)
Factions of Cayuga Nation in court over Class II gaming facility (12/18)
Deadline extended for commercial casino eyed by Quapaw Tribe (12/18)
Opinion: Another casino isn't answer to Connecticut's problems (12/18)
Native Sun News: Youth take on lead role in Dakota memorial ride (12/17)
Mark Trahant: NCAI launches new campaign against racist mascot (12/17)
Norm DeWeaver: Job market is a disaster zone in Indian Country (12/17)
Amanda Blackhorse: Fake chiefs and fake headdresses must go (12/17)
DOI makes $9M in buy-back offers on Coeur d'Alene Reservation (12/17)
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes see success with two bills in Congress (12/17)
Boyd Cothran: Torture justified by treatment of Indian prisoners (12/17)
Rep. Gosar faces criticism over bill that benefits Hualapai Tribe (12/17)
Navajo Nation's highest court dismisses challenge to candidate (12/17)
Column: Tribal voices often minimized in environmental debate (12/17)
Column: Chief Cliff still an undeniably spiritual place in Montana (12/17)
Native activists in Brazil protest land bill with bows and arrows (12/17)
Shakopee Tribe funds Eastern Shoshone Tribe casino expansion (12/17)
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.