Monday, February 19, 2007

Illinois bows to its NCAA master 

One of the last holdouts against NCAA aggression has raised its own white flag. Wednesday will be the last appearance of Chief Illiniwek.
The decision follows two decades of votes, studies and committee meetings aimed at easing campus division over the mascot, which some American Indians and others view as an insult and some alumni and students see as a cherished tradition.

The NCAA ended up forcing the university's hand.

Friday's decision ends NCAA sanctions that had prevented Illinois from hosting postseason sports since 2005.

Illinois still will be able to use the name Illini because it's short for Illinois and the school can use the term Fighting Illini, because it's a reference to the team's competitive spirit, school officials said.
The University of North Dakota will fight on.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the decision by the University of Illinois to retire its American Indian mascot Chief Illiniwek will not affect the University of North Dakota's legal case against the NCAA.

UND is trying to retain postseason use of its "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo, which the NCAA has deemed offensive.

"UND doesn't have a mascot like Illinois has," Stenehjem said. "[Illinois'] decision not to use this chief is a decision UND made a long time ago in deciding not to have any mascot. So they're putting themselves in the same position we're in now."

So if they changed their name to "Fighting (North) Dakotans"...

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