August 05, 2005

NCAA bans Amerindian names; Pro leagues next?

The NCAA announced this morning that they are banning the display of "hostile or abusive" Indian mascot names in post-season tournaments beginning February 1.

The ruling extends to covering up the logos of schools who have Indian mascots that are presently scheduled to host tournaments. The NCAA plans to prohibit any schools with Indian mascots from hosting tournaments in the future.

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 by teams on their uniforms or other clothing beginning with any NCAA tournament after Feb. 1, said Harrison, the University of Hartford's president.

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.

No word on what, in the eyes of the NCAA, is "hostile or abusive."

No word from schools like Florida State University (Seminoles) or the University of Illinois (Fighting Illini) on what -- if anything -- they plan to do in light of the ruling.

This also begs the question of whether or not professional leagues will force their teams (MLB's Indians or Braves; NFL's Redskins or Chiefs; NHL's Black Hawks; NBA's Warriors) to comply with a similar ruling.

Posted by mhking at August 5, 2005 12:43 PM | TrackBack
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