Saturday, November 12, 2005

Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief

The NCAA has confirmed its prior ruling on UIUC's use of the "chief" mascot. The university can still further appeal the decision. Maybe alum Rick Winkel will feel compelled to take action when(or, rather, if) he's sitting in the US Attorney's office. The NCAA gave its grudging approval to the use of the nickname "fighting Illini" but urged the school to launch an "educational effort" to clarify mistunderstandings about the origin of the term. However, the ruling body was visceral when it came to the mascot itself and the practice of having a student don a costume and perform a dance, which, according to the S-T, began in 1926. The decision characterized the practice as "Native American imagery that the broadest range of indigenous tribes and peoples find offensive and insulting.

The "chief" symbol has become more and more divisive in recent years, with senate president Emil Jones even threatening to cut funding for the state's education crown jewel if they continued to use the offending mascot.

Hat tip: IlliniPundit

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