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INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments, but will not prohibit them otherwise.


The NCAA's executive committee decided this week the organization did not have the authority to bar Indian mascots by individual schools, committee chairman Walter Harrison said Friday.

Nicknames or mascots deemed "hostile or abusive" would not be allowed on team uniforms or other clothing beginning with any NCAA tournament after Feb. 1, said Harrison, the University of Hartford's president.

"What each institution decides to do is really its own business" outside NCAA championship events, Harrison said.

"What we are trying to say is that we find these mascots to be unacceptable for NCAA championship competition," he added.

At least 18 schools have mascots the NCAA deem "hostile or abusive," including Florida State's Seminole and Illinois' Illini.

Florida State President T.K. Wetherell threatened to take legal action after the ruling.

"That the NCAA would now label our close bond with the Seminole people as culturally 'hostile and abusive' is both outrageous and insulting," Wetherell said in a written statement.

"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."

Not all schools with Indian-related nicknames are on that list. NCAA officials said some schools using the Warrior nickname do not use Indian symbols and would not be affected.

North Carolina-Pembroke, which uses the nickname Braves, will not face sanctions. NCAA president Myles Brand explained said the school's student body has historically admitted a high percentage of American Indians and more than 20 percent of the students are American Indians.

Schools on the list could still appeal.

"I suspect that some of those would like to having a ruling on that," Brand said. "But unless there is a change before Feb. 1, they will have to abide by it."

Major college football teams also would not be subjected to the new rules because there is no NCAA Division I-A tournament or playoff.

Vernon Bellecourt, president of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media, was pleased with the postseason ban but had hoped for even stronger action.

"We would have hoped the NCAA would have provided the moral leadership on this issue, but obviously they've chosen to only go halfway," said Bellecourt, a member of the Anishinabe-Ojibwe Nation in Minnesota.

The NCAA two years ago recommended that schools determine for themselves whether the Indian depictions were offensive.

Florida State has received permission from the Seminole tribe in Florida to use the nickname. The NCAA, however, made its decision based on a different standard.

"Other Seminole tribes are not supportive," said Charlotte Westerhaus, the NCAA vice president for diversity and inclusion.

Among the schools to change nicknames in recent years over such concerns were St. John's (from Redmen to Red Storm) and Marquette (from Warriors to Golden Eagles).

The NCAA plans to ban schools using Indian nicknames from hosting postseason events. Harrison said schools with such mascots that have already been selected as tournament sites would be asked to cover any offensive logos.

Such logos also would be prohibited at postseason games on cheerleader and band uniforms starting in 2008.

Other measures approved this week include stronger penalties for schools that repeatedly fall below the NCAA's new academic cutline. Harrison said schools would receive a warning letter the first year; restrictions on scholarships, recruiting and playing time the second year; and a postseason ban the third year. If a school fails to meet the standard four consecutive years, all teams at that school would be ineligible for postseason play.

"I'd fully expect that we never get to the fourth year," Harrison said. "A school should take stronger action before that. But I think this should send a message that there will be real, serious consequences if you don't."

Schools also would receive a bonus point if a player returns to school to complete his or her degree.

The board also approved a two-year contract extension for Brand. His deal was to run through Dec. 31, 2007 and now includes an indefinite two-year rollover.
On the Front Top Page of the Tampa Tribune...
Quote:FSU To Fight NCAA Mascot Ban

Published: Aug 6, 2005

TALLAHASSEE - Florida State University officials will go to court if they must to keep the National Collegiate Athletic Association from forcing mascot Chief Osceola to ride away forever.
FSU President T.K. Wetherell on Friday threatened legal action after his school was one of 18 whose mascots were deemed ``hostile and/or abusive'' by the NCAA's executive committee.

The school's athletic teams have been known as the Seminoles since the late 1940s, but the use of American Indian tribal names and images after Feb. 1 - in all sports except football - could cost FSU berths in NCAA postseason play and could prevent the school from hosting lucrative NCAA postseason events.

``Florida State University is stunned at the complete lack of appreciation for cultural diversity shown by the National Collegiate Athletic Association's executive committee. ... That the NCAA would now label our close bond with the Seminole Tribe of Florida as culturally `hostile and abusive' is both outrageous and insulting,'' Wetherell said Friday in a statement.

State Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, one of FSU's most ardent backers in the Legislature, said a lawsuit challenging the ruling is in the works.

``When a lawsuit is filed - and there will be a lawsuit - the Seminole tribes will be participants in that suit,'' King said.

`Narrow-Minded Policy'

Max Osceola, a member of the five-person Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, said the NCAA's ban is presumptuous. He said NCAA officials did not consult the tribe before issuing their ruling. The tribe passed a resolution in June supporting the school's use of the nickname and tribal images.

``We're not going to change our point of view,'' Osceola said. ``Our tribe has endorsed it, and we would hope another group would respect our wishes, but I guess the NCAA knows better for the Seminoles than the Seminoles do.''

Osceola drew a distinction between FSU's use of the tribe's name and the Washington Redskins. The latter is a name American Indians find offensive, Osceola said.

Charlotte Westerhaus, NCAA vice president for diversity and inclusion, said Florida's Seminoles were not the only Seminoles considered. The largest group of Seminoles outside Florida is the Oklahoma Seminole Nation.

``Other Seminole tribes are not supportive,'' Westerhaus said.

Across the nation, American Indian advocacy groups supported the NCAA's ruling, though some said it did not go far enough. But in Florida, politicians, talk-radio callers and sports fans posting on Internet message boards blasted the NCAA. Even a handful of University of Florida fans visited FSU fan site http://www.warchant.com to register their outrage.

State Rep. Trey Traviesa, R- Brandon, a former FSU student body president, said he was ``shocked and disappointed that the NCAA would adopt such an extreme and narrow- minded policy.''

University of Hartford, Conn., President Walter Harrison, chairman of the NCAA executive committee, said his group targeted schools whose mascots offended people of a particular race, ethnicity or nationality. He said the committee made its decision after several years of discussion and after every school with an American Indian mascot turned in a detailed self-study to the NCAA. The 18 schools cited use Indian nicknames. Schools such as Notre Dame (Fighting Irish) were left off the list.

The ruling probably will not affect FSU's football pregame ritual in which a student dressed as Chief Osceola rides onto the field on a spotted horse and plants a flaming spear in the turf. Because the NCAA does not sponsor a Division I-A football tournament, it has no say in the matter. The Bowl Championship Series, which governs Division I-A's top four bowl games, would have to issue a similar ruling. Harrison said neither the NCAA nor the BCS could tell a school what to do during regular-season games on its own campus.

``We would hope [the BCS] would follow the same procedure, but they will have to make those decisions themselves,'' Harrison said.

The ruling would affect FSU's baseball team, which has played well enough to host an NCAA regional the past nine seasons.

``You have to earn that advantage,'' pitcher Bryan Henry said. ``We could have another good year and have the NCAA take that away from us because we're the Seminoles.''

Fight Will Be `Ugly'

If FSU has to change its nickname and logo, it would mean the end of one of the most recognizable icons in sports marketing, said Paul Swangard, of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon. Florida State was the 11th-best-selling college team in sales of logo merchandise from July 1, 2004, through Dec. 31, according to a ranking by the Collegiate Licensing Co.

NCAA President Myles Brand said the schools on the list can appeal, and Harrison said he hopes schools would ``oppose it through our own channels without going to the courts.''

Brand said unless there is a change by Feb. 1, schools ``will have to abide by'' Friday's ruling.

State Sen. King, an FSU graduate, said the school and its supporters won't back down. ``This is not going to be a walk on the beach,'' King said. ``It's going to be ugly.''

04-rock 04-rock 04-rock Fight the NCAA for this ridiculous ban :chair:
FSU is in Florida. the Florida Seminole tribe says its ok, and like it. why does the NCAA crackers try to shut 'em down?
Beats me. But I'm glad FSU is going to sue cause it pisses me off :chair:
Quote:NCAA takes a stand that isn't much of one
By Dennis Dodd
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer

Ladies and gentlemen, your Florida State Fragile Porcelain Mice.

That's another warning for those of you who sit in fear of the PC Police massing outside your home on every issue from gun control to skirt lengths. The NCAA has taken the "bold" step of cracking down on what it calls "hostile and abusive" nicknames and mascots. Players and cheerleaders have been stripped of wearing any reference to the likes of Indians and Braves.

Not really. Kind of, sort of.

Teams are exempt from the new rule in bowl games. Those don't count because the NCAA doesn't control them. For whatever reason, the NCAA chose not to infringe on regular-season events, either. This only applies to the 88 NCAA-sponsored championships.

My, how enlightened we've become.

What really happened here? The NCAA provided fodder for every sports talk show in the country Friday. The move was as symbolic as the school logos themselves. Illinois isn't really affected because it stopped putting "Illini" on its basketball jerseys long ago. Controversial mascot Chief Illiniwek doesn't travel to championships.

Because Florida State is on the list of 18 schools that were singled out, it cannot host an NCAA regional. That might not mean much in basketball, but FSU is a major baseball power and a regular host of regional and super regional tournaments. The school is already threatening to sue.

But beyond those narrow interests, what really changed? Little, really. It can be argued the NCAA overstepped its authority in being a not-for-profit volunteer organization. Theoretically, it (or the schools in it) should have no right to tell sovereign institutions what they can name their teams.

But that's assuming that any of the 18 actually are pressured into changing their names. It probably isn't going to happen, especially at places like Florida State and Illinois. The Seminole tribe of Florida already told the school the nickname was OK. The NCAA countered that that was only a Seminole tribe. Apparently there are others are against it.

That raises the next point. If the NCAA stops at the Native American issue, then it is diminishing issues at Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Louisiana-Lafayette. I'm sure I can find 13 Irishmen somewhere that are offended by Notre Dame's nickname. For some, "Fighting Irish" might conjure a stereotype of brawling, drunk Irishmen. If the NCAA found a Seminole tribe, I'm sure I can find an Irish nationality advocacy group.

Or what about the Aggies of Texas A&M and Utah State? To many, that nickname means uneducated, rural farmers. It's a punch line at places like Texas. Or what about the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette?

If we're going to split hairs here, let's get an ax.

This is not to say Native Americans aren't disrespected in our culture. I am sensitive. There is a small percentage of Native American blood running through me. There is a full-blooded Indian relative in my family dating back to early last century. My late father actually had the "red" tinge to his skin common to some Native Americans.

But, please, NCAA, do something tangible.

Already schools like St. John's and Marquette are among the 14 schools that have changed their nicknames on their own, bowing to societal pressure, not an NCAA edict. As it should be. "Redmen" for St. John's was ridiculous.

So is "Fighting Sioux" for North Dakota and "Redmen" for Carthage College, two of the 18. But I'm not so sure about the Central Michigan Chippewas or Mississippi College Choctaws (also two of the 18). Those are names of tribes. If we're going there, then Kansas (named after the Kansa tribe) and Illinois (named after a group of tribes) shouldn't have those state names on the front of those jerseys.

I'm more concerned that five years ago, Hawaii changed from being the "Rainbow Warriors" to just "Warriors." Some school officials and athletes thought the rainbow part had a gay connotation. And no, Hawaii is not on the list. Apparently, there's a problem with "Savages" (Southeastern Oklahoma State) but not Warriors.

And certainly no problem with Rainbow Warriors sounding "gay."

See what we mean about splitting hairs?

This latest non-move serves the NCAA most. It has gotten up on a soap box and proclaimed, "See?"

No, we don't. Friday's actions were too transparent.
Quote: FSU athletes react to ban by the NCAA on mascots, nicknames

By Jim Henry


Florida State pitcher Mark Sauls can't fathom not being called a Seminole. And he can't fathom not playing in an NCAA Regional at Dick Howser Stadium next spring.

"It doesn't make sense," Sauls said. "If the Seminole Tribe (of Florida) has given its blessing. ... I don't understand. Any problems or concerns should be handled individually. If the NCAA has gone this far concerning the postseason, what's next?"

FSU's next step appears to be the courthouse. FSU President T.K. Wetherell on Friday threatened to take legal action against the NCAA after the organization banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments. The NCAA will not prohibit them otherwise.

Nicknames or mascots deemed "hostile or abusive" would not be allowed on team uniforms or other clothing beginning with any NCAA Tournament after Feb.1. At least 18 schools have mascots the NCAA deem "hostile or abusive," including FSU's Seminole.

While major-college football teams would not be subjected to the new rules because there is no NCAA Division I-A tournament or playoff, the NCAA also plans to ban schools using Indian nicknames from hosting postseason events.

FSU, of course, has a rich postseason history in baseball, appearing in the College World Series 18 times. Last May the Seminoles were selected to host an NCAA Regional for the ninth consecutive year and 22nd time in the last 23 years.

Former FSU pitcher Chuck Howell, who played in three College World Series during his Seminole career (1994-97), couldn't understand the NCAA's ruling since the Seminole Tribe of Florida has endorsed the use of its name to FSU.

"I've followed Florida State athletics since the 1970s and the use of Seminoles is just embedded into you," said Howell, who signed with FSU out of Leon High and still resides in Tallahassee. "I don't think the NCAA needs to be waving its wand ... it simply sounds like a political move."

Current FSU offensive lineman Matt Meinrod also couldn't understand the fuss surrounding the school's nickname and mascot. Meinrod said he has followed the issue since taking a summer class two years ago on race and ethnicity.

"We discussed at length the use of American Indian mascots," Meinrod said. "It just doesn't make sense, especially since we have their (Seminole Tribe of Florida) blessing. I can't imagine not being a Seminole."

Former FSU All-American and NFL player Clay Shiver believes the NCAA has more pressing issues such as implementing a football playoff or allowing student-athletes to gain employment during the school year. Shiver also wonders when colleges will grow tiresome of NCAA bureaucracy.

"I don't understand what jurisdiction the NCAA works under. It obviously works in its own world, its own system," said Shiver, 32, who played at FSU from 1992-95.

"Their decision makes no sense to me. I don't think the NCAA needs to be their (Seminole Tribe of Florida) conscience and the conscience of every university in the country.

"Once again, the NCAA is trying to regulate too much. Sooner or later, I am wondering when teams are going to get fed up with it and leave the NCAA."
it appears that FSU flexing its muscle is making the NCAA second guess themselves. This is only going to open up the flood gates for all other schools affected by this BS.
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