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Opinion
Reaction to NCAA mascot policy still rolling in


Another round of views and opinions on the new Indian mascot policy of the NCAA that bans the use of "hostile and abusive" images during post-season tournaments.

SEN. MEL MARTINEZ
"The National Collegiate Athletic Association's meddling in the relationship between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Florida State University is baffling, insulting and wrongheaded. To characterize FSU's use of the Seminole name and symbols as "hostile or abusive" is pure fantasy. In fact, the more we learn about how the organization arrived at their arbitrary ruling, the more it appears the NCAA could have avoided this needless controversy by performing even a scant bit of investigation. The NCAA would do well by all parties involved by granting the appeal of Florida State University and ending this episode with an apology."
Martinez to NCAA: Grant appeal, apologize (The Orlando Sentinel 8/14)
pwday

IT'S ABOUT TIME
"Symbols and names do mean a thang, at least to those who are sensitive to them, aka correct-thinking folks. Apparently, Florida's Gov. Jeb Bush, whose Florida State University Seminoles will be among those affected by the ruling, believes time should stand still. 'How politically correct can we get?' he asked."
Frank Harris III: Symbols, Names Do Mean A Thang (The Hartford Courant 8/15)
pwday

Editorial: Indian mascots just aren't sporting (The Des Moines Register 8/15)

UNACCEPTABLE MASCOTS
"Many places - states, cities, schools, etc. - have American Indian names. But they're typically used in a context that honors or recognizes geographic history. American Indian nicknames, mascots and images in high school, college and professional sports, however, evoke an ugly stereotype of brutal, sub-human savages attacking an enemy. That should be unacceptable."
MORE PRESSING ISSUES
"Many Indians are struggling so hard to sustain a decent life that the mascot issue is almost trivial, suggested Bruce Brown, executive board chairman of the American Indian Center of Indiana. The federally funded agency, with offices in Indy and Peru, served 100 Indians last year. Indians have higher rates of diabetes, alcoholism and tuberculosis than other races, said Brown, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe of central Iowa. Indiana has no health care center to serve federally recognized Indians. The closest is in Chicago."
Ruth Holloday: Mascot ban helps, but Indians face bigger issues (The Indianpolis Star 8/14)

NCAA DID RIGHT THING
"Native Americans have, for decades, protested the use of offensive imagery and names and did what they could to get schools to change. But they have met considerable resistance along the way from those who claim, without backing from the Native people, that the nicknames, mascots and logos are intended to honor the tribes and aren't plundering cultures that have been brutalized for hundreds of years."
Editorial: NCAA right to hinder use of abusive names (The Lincoln Journal Star 8/14)

NCAA NONSENSE
"The name restriction becomes absurd when applied to the Florida State University Seminoles, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini and the University of Utah Utes (though presumably the latter schools can still compete with their state names, Illinois and Utah, unabridged). Aside from the plight of American Indians today (a real problem that this superficial name change will do nothing to allay), what separates the Seminoles, for instance, from any other mascot constructed from a group prominent in a particular region's heritage?"
Editorial: Nickname nonsense (The Washington Times 8/15)

CONTROVERSY OVERBLOWN
"Why doesn't the NCAA spend its time doing something more important ---- like jettisoning the Bowl Championship Series and adopting a playoff system for Division I college football? If we're lucky, Notre Dame will never make the playoffs. And the rest of us white geeks won't have to stare at that ridiculous leprechaun on national television."
Rick S. Alvord: Brouhaha over team mascots is overblown (The Longveiw Daily News 8/14)

INSULT TO SEMINOLES
"You'd think the NCAA had enough to do, what with athletes being arrested for everything from shoplifting to rape, booster clubs violating recruiting rules and professors being pressured to pass jocks who make a farce of studying. But no, they had to go and insult FSU Seminole Nation."
Howard Goodman: NCAA's `correctness' insults Seminoles, goads others (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 8/14)
pwday

'SIOUX' MUST GO
"Of course, I love the University of North Dakota and the �Fighting Sioux.� And of course, the moniker has to go. In fact, the change should have taken place when the stirrings of cultural change arose more than three decades ago."
Jane Ahlin: We can love UND, but Sioux moniker has to go (The Fargo Forum 8/14)
pwday

SEMINOLES SUPPORT NAME
" If the NCAA's feeble attempt at political correctness wasn't so sad, it might be funny. It was also embarrassing to the braintrusts of college sports when the Oklahoma Seminole Indians told the NCAA to butt out on the matter of Florida State using the tribe's name as its symbol. When one lone Oklahoma Seminole spoke out against it, the tribe quickly reacted by voting 18-2 to strike it down."
Buddy: The error of the NCAA's ways (The Sun-Herald 8/14)

THOUGHT POLICE
"Exactly when did the NCAA become the authorized thought police in America? When did the NCAA get such a great handle on student-athlete graduation rates and sports gambling, that it could actually worry about team nicknames and mascots?"
Editorial: CMU, others need to educate NCAA on its proper role (The Lansing State Journal 8/15)

NO LAUGHING MATTER
"Several newspapers, magazines and electronic sports journalists simply could not resist the temptation to go for the obvious in describing Florida State�s reaction to the NCAA�s recent nickname edict. Oh yeah, in any number of places the Seminoles were: "On the warpath against the NCAA," "Taking dead aim," "Looking to add another notch to their belts," etc."
Bart Fisher: FSU vs. the NCAA (The New Britain Herald 8/15)

COURT BATTLES
"The NCAA has set itself up for legal action by taking action to encourage college and universities to abandon "hostile" and "abusive" American Indian nicknames for their athletic teams. The action is too little to force a change and enough to land the governing body of college athletics in court."
Editorial: Mascot issue destined for court fights (The Orangeburg Times & Democrat 8/13)

NOT ALL MASCOTS BAD
"There are some schools on the list that should have their mascots and nicknames changed - for instance the Carthage College Redmen and the Southeastern Oklahoma State Savages, to name a couple. But then you have schools like San Diego State and Florida State."
Editorial: NCAA ban needs revamp (The Selma Times-Journal 8/13)

TRIBES NOT CONCERNED
"The NCAA's policy on American Indian mascots and imagery is serious business to schools that seek the financial boost of being selected as host for a post-season tournament. More than 500 tribal councils received by mail a request for input on the issue, according to NCAA committee minutes. Only 10 percent responded. Florida State won't be so reticent in its response, and neither will the other schools deemed "abusive" by the NCAA."
Dave George: NCAA aims at movable target (The Palm Beach Post 8/13)

NCAA BUTT OUT
"The NCAA, which governs college athletics, has decided to stick its bureaucratic nose where it clearly doesn't belong. Last week, the NCAA ruled that schools with American Indian names or mascots would not be allowed to use those names or symbols on team or cheerleader uniforms during NCAA postseason tournament events. The organization also said mascots depicting American Indians would not be welcome at their tournaments."
OPINION: NCAA should butt out of nickname controversy (The Decatur Herald & Review 8/12)
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POLICY TOO BROAD
"Not only is this broad-brush policy overly sensitive, it is confusing and hypocritical. Why is it fine for Florida State fans to chant and wave their Spirit Tomahawks during the regular season, but have to check them at the gate during postseason. Since the 1960s, more than 600 high schools, colleges and minor-league pro teams have dropped Native American nicknames that some have deemed offensive. Clearly, where problems exist, local people are addressing them. A broad-brush national policy is not needed."
Editorial: What�s in a name? (The Claremore Progress 8/13)

NOT A BIG DEAL
"I can't argue with someone who says he finds the use of an American Indian logo offensive. I just don't think the use of such a logo really means as much as they believe it does. When someone tells me that the Indians beat the Yankees, 3-2, I don't think of fierce violence or anything negative to the Indian culture. All the information tells me is that the Cleveland team pitched better, fielded more flawlessly and scored more runs than did the New York team. I don't think of anything else to do with the name. In fact, it is rare that I associate it withthe Indian people."
Mike Dougherty: Weed by any other name is ... NCAA (The Benton Courier 8/14)

WHY STOP WITH MASCOTS
"Much more must be done. College fight songs are shameful. They promote fight. Why, they even promote gambling. Listen to the Notre Dame Victory March: "What though the odds be great or small ..." Never again should we hear what some of the misguided regard as a stirring introduction of the Notre Dame band: "Here it is! The band of the Fighting Irish!" No more promotion of fighting."
Jack Colwell: Leave it to the NCAA to tackle the really important stuff (The South Bend Tribune 8/14)

MAD ABOUT MASCOTS
"But first, let's turn to the Indian news that has many Americans hopping mad. It isn't the closing of a history museum, that's for sure. An Indian museum just tells the story of the original people of the land and how their cultures were devastated by the people who stole this country. Bit of a bummer, really. Best to avoid. Don't want to know too much. Makes your head hurt. But don't dare mess with Indian mascots. If we want to tap into real anger about Indian stuff, all we have to do is bring up the recent decision by the NCAA ordering college teams with offensive Indian nicknames and mascots not to use them in postseason playoffs."
Nick Coleman: Mascots get more ink than museums (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 8/12)
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NCAA NOT PC
"Native American nicknames are out. Except that they're not. The NCAA is merely banning Seminoles, Braves and the like from being mentioned in postseason competitions � the teams can play, but the announcers have to keep saying "Florida State" instead of Seminoles. Chief Illiniwek is undoubtedly offensive to some. But it was outside of the NCAA's jurisdiction to bench him. Look, I wince whenever I see Chief Illiniwek or some other college student dressed as a stereotypical Native American. (I also wince when I see the term "Native American." I mean, aren't most of us native Americans? I understand that "Indians" had to go, but can't we do better than this?)"
Michael Rosenberg: NCAA's job isn't political correctness (FOX Sports 8/12)

PC RUN AMOK
"When political correctness runs amok it can create a situation so ludicrous that even its adherents must be hard-pressed to suppress a derisive laugh. Such was the case last weekend, when the National Collegiate Athletic Association - the ruling body of college athletics - announced that it is fed up with what it considers "hostile" and "abusive" American Indian nicknames and will prohibit use of those words and images in its post-season tournaments."
Kent Ward: Latest round of PC mania directed at college mascots (The Bangor Daily News 8/13)

MASCOTS AN HONOR
"It should not be the NCAA's right to tell a school with generations upon generations of history that when the big money comes in and the television cameras turn their red lights on them, they have to be known by the school name only ... or something else. Ask any alum of any school � it is an honor to have the nickname it has. Traditions are built from the nickname, whether it's an Indian riding on a horse with a flaming spear in his hand or the fans making like an alligator chomping by bringing their hands together. There's never been a true attempt to denigrate anyone with the usage of a nickname. None at least that I know."
Mark Blumenthal: Also being offended are ... (The Palatka Daily News 8/13)

NEW NICKNAME?
"True, the Seminole tribe may endorse us and may have no problems with our mascot. And it even may believe that our lauded sports program and pursuit of higher academics give the tribe a sense of pride. These things have little impact. The point is that someone, somewhere, sometime could have a problem with it, and that is enough argument for me. In fact, I am so appalled by the possibility that I refuse to refer to our mascot by name for the rest of this letter. Henceforth, we will be the FSU *BLEEPS*."
Cassondra Griffith: FSU *bleeps* (The Orlando Sentinel 8/13)
pwday

MASCOTS ARE PROUD
"The NCAA should be careful what it wishes. When the Indians and the Braves and the Chippewas and the Fighting Sioux are gone, so will be the memories of why - courage, resourcefulness, endurance - those names were chosen in the first place."
OUR OPINION (The Jacksonville Daily News 8/13)

WHAT ABOUT...
"Banning nicknames becomes a swamp of sorts. Is Notre Dame's Fighting Irish leprechaun demeaning? When will People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals object to the use of all the Bulldogs, Wildcats, Bears and Longhorns that abound in college sports? And as the Journal columnist noted, there is no small amount of irony in the fact that the NCAA's announcement came from its headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana."
Asides: What's in a name? (The Austin American-Statesman 8/13)

ANTI-IRISH MASCOT
"There is a fundamental difference between how schools came to have Native American nicknames and how Notre Dame teams became the "Fighting Irish." By most accounts, the "Fighting Irish" nickname originated in the 19th century as an insult against Notre Dame's athletic teams at a time when anti-Catholic sentiment was rampant in our country. According to the university, one reported use of the term came in 1899, when Northwestern University students chanted "Kill the fighting Irish" during a football game."
John O'Brien: Offended by 'Fighting Irish,' or just green with envy? (The Daily Southtown 8/14)

SEMINOLES RESPECTFUL
Jane Thomas Thompson: "As a native Floridian, I believe the Seminole Indians, so much a part of of our early life, are in the fabric that binds our memories together."
Teresa M. Callahan: "Never have I thought the Seminole logo or Chief Osceola's image were inappropriately used or hostile and abusive to the Seminole Indians."
Don McKenney: "This is a another sad day in America. What do the ancestors of the Indian tribes involved have to say about the NCAA's restriction on their tribal names as team nicknames?"
Letters: Pride of the tribes (Florida Today 8/13)

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:
Harjo: Hanging onto mascots, toys of racism (8/12)
Still more reaction to NCAA policy on mascots (8/11)
Editorial: NCAA policy a step in the right direction (8/11)
Opinion: NCAA on the warpath against mascots (8/11)
NCAA President: Taking the high road on mascots (8/11)
NCAA will ask TV stations not to use mascot names (8/11)
North Dakota governor criticizes NCAA policy (8/11)
FSU trustees approve fight for 'Seminoles' mascot (8/11)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe calls policy 'unacceptable' (8/11)
Local high school league won't take up mascot issue (8/11)
Even more reaction to NCAA policy on mascots (8/10)
Editorial: Good riddance to 'demeaning' mascots (8/10)
Jeb Bush calls mascot policy 'offensive' to tribe (8/10)
University of Utah mulls position on 'Utes' (8/10)
More reaction to NCAA's new policy on Indian mascots (8/9)
FSU wants policy changed to allow 'Seminoles' (8/9)
Utah 'Utes' among the names on NCAA's mascot hit list (8/9)
'Fighting Sioux' arena contains thousands of logos (8/9)
NCAA announces revised Indian mascot policy (8/8)
Mixed reaction to change in use of mascots (8/8)
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)