Thursday, August 18, 2005

The NCAA, Indian Mascots and Common Sense

You have probably already heard about the NCAA's news-making ruling that any school with a nickname or logo considered racially or ethnically “hostile” or “abusive” by the NCAA would be prohibited from using them in postseason events. Mascots will not be allowed to perform at tournament games, and band members and cheerleaders will also be barred from using American Indians on their uniforms beginning in 2008.

While NCAA officials admit they still can’t force schools to change nicknames or logos, they are making a statement they believe is long overdue. Eighteen mascots, including Florida State’s Seminole and Illinois’ Illini, were on the list of offenders.

Of course, both of these schools have public records of the local Indian tribes proudly giving support for the use of their names and heritage. How can this be bad when the people involved are not only unoffended but in fact like it.

Those schools who refuse to change their logos will not be permitted to host future NCAA tournament games, and if events have already been awarded to those sites, the school must cover any logos or nicknames that appear.

Two years ago, the NCAA recommended schools determine for themselves whether Indian depictions were offensive. Among the schools to change nicknames in recent years were St. John’s (from Redmen to Red Storm) and Marquette (from Warriors to Golden Eagles).

Never mind that the NCAA will not enact this ruling until after the college football bowl games (oh, the power of the almighty dollar to this incredibly hypocritical institution)! What is amazing is the broad general strokes used to write out this ruling and the ridiculous way they will attempt to enforce it.

What is troubling is that the NCAA gives no notice of what is "hostile and abusive" and what is not. This is just another case of the "thought police" swearing themselves into action, just like the people that think preaching against homosexual sin is a "hate crime."

The President of the University of North Dakota has written an open letter to the NCAA and its leadership. He does an OUTSTANDING job in highlighting the ridiculous nature of this ruling. If you follow college sports at all, I highly recommend you read it.

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