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By SportsBiz Blog

May 17th, 2005




NCAA to Consider Banning Indian Nicknames


This Blog of the Day post is courtesy of the SportsBiz Blog, ruminations on the business and law of sports.


According to this morning's USA Today the NCAA will decide this summer whether it can or should try and force member institutions to quit using Indian nicknames. Options range from doing nothing (unlikely) to yielding to individual campus authority with strong directives from the NCAA (likely) to leverage the granting of NCAA tournament sites like it did with Confederate symbols (highly likely).

Sure, the use of nicknames and more often mascots has proved to be controversial and divisive in some cases. The most recent and obvious example is the University of Illinois whose mascot is so divisive the school didn't even bring him to the Final Four. However, this is no one size fits all drama. Several schools have worked closely with nearby Native American tribes to make sure that everything they do is not only respectful of the tradition but honors it. Florida State has longed worked with the Seminole Nation, for example.

There is a great deal of political correctness at work here as well. Who is to say for instance that Warriors automatically refers to Native Americans if the mascot is changed to one that is not an obviously Native American reference. Marquette which dropped the Warrior name in the early 1990s has refused to consider returning to it, despite its fans and alumni desires even if it is divorced from Native American imagery. To me, that is nonsensical. In fact, this whole debate is one of emotion not reason. The NCAA should stay out and let each school deal with this on its own and come to whatever decision its community feels is appropriate for that institution. It is just not for the NCAA to legislate its members "morality" when it comes to nicknames.



This Blog of the Day post is courtesy of the SportsBiz Blog, ruminations on the business and law of sports.



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