NCAA bans Native American Mascots from Postseason PLay

#1
Illini Foot Soldier
#2
I was just about to post this... This is a joke. It really makes me angry. This is soo stupid, I can't believe a sports team name could possibly be offenseive. It's not offensive or racist at all. What will the new Illinois name be? It just won't be the same if it's not the Illini
 
#3
Dismember
LA, LA, big city and dreams.
Hostile? Dangerous? No way.

This is a load of crap. The NCAA isn't righteous about anything. They only care about $$$ so I'm wondering which interest group paid them off to make this decision.
 
#6
Illini Foot Soldier
Ok, so after thinking about this over the weekend, I am still just as confused and disappointed as I was when I first read it on Friday. First of all, where exactly does the NCAA get the nerve to try to control the mascots of symbols of member schools? If it is about race, then what exactly is wrong about honoring a race of people that have been nearly eliminated off this continent, and if the NCAA can answer that question (which I bet they can't) then what about the USC Trojans, MSU Spartans, and yes, even the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (I know everyone mentions Notre Dame in this argument but really, if FSU's Seminoles and UIllinois' Fighting Illini is offensive and dangerous then so is the Fighting Irish and the Trojans and the Spartans). Is there something different about Native Americans that makes it not ok to honor them but the Irish, Trojans, Spartans, Blue Devils (they were a French Army group), and the Vikings (Augustana College in Rock Island and Lawerence University in Wisconsin) are perfectly fine to base symbols and mascots on? If at some point the NCAA says that we have to get rid of the name Illini, do we then have to get rid of Illinois since Illinois is just french for Illini? If so then shouldn't the NCAA move its headquarters from Indianapolis since Indianapolis is a Greek and English hybrid meaning "City of Indians"?

My real disappointment is with the University itself though. If they had any resemblence of a spine, they would have settled this issue years ago. The Board should have had an up or down vote on this and settled this - either for or against the Chief. The Board of Trustees should be standing up there with FSU saying that we will keep our traditions, our symbols and everything that comes along with them and if we have to go to court to do that, then so be it . . . but the Board won't do that. They somehow lost their spine when a couple of students protested or booed at a basketball game. And now, when the Board needs to be defending the University at a time of increased ignorance and racism, it won't because it's afraid of who it might upset. Oh well.
 
#7
Well said JP! If we can't honor decendents of the past as our mascots... I'd like to know what in the hell the NCAA would like our mascots to be? If we don't fight back on this, the next thing we know, we'll all have mascots like the poor unfortunate Fisher Bunnies.
 
#10
As Norman Dale would say, lets make things real clear here.

I grew up in Urbana, and have been a Illini fan as long as I remember (my first real memory is of the Flying Illini). And last season meant more to me than anything in the world. That said, I have never stood for the Chief, and I dont think that makes me any less of an Illini fan. Certainly, as a townie, i dont like listening to people harp about "honoring the tradition" of the Chief if they aren't enough of an illini fan to know who tj wheeler is.

Its hard to support a replacement for the Fighting Illini as a team name, but the key issue on this campus is the Chief. Chief supporters like to paint themselves as the "real" Illini fans, but keeping it real is about supporting the team, not the mascot. It really pisses me off to see the Orange Crush filled with shirts that only say "Chief," with no mention of the Illinois or the Illini.

Just realize that even if people have the best intentions to be respectful, the symbol of the Chief is not honorable in any sense. Anti-Chief people have it wrong when they only see things in terms of bigotry--the people standing are not doing so to demonstrate their contempt for the Indians. But, that said, He wears the clothes of the Sioux, the tribe that wiped out the Illini. The dance has evolved over the years, not to more closely resemble the culture of the Illini, but to please the crowd. It is a tradition started by white people, cultivated by white people, and drawn in the white man's image of the indian that he has never met.

The fact is, on both sides of the chief issue, its not about the real Illini at all. People are fighting each other. Pro-Chief people dont like outsiders telling them what to do; its part of being midwestern; anti-chief people, like me, dont like being told they aren't real fans because they dont stand up at halftime.

We got to hold on to our tradition, but we should hold on to stuff that symbolizes our bond with the university and the team. If the NCAA ruling leads to anything, it should remind us we should respect symbols that unite Illini fans, not divide us.
 
#11
oh, and please, the "where does it end" about PETA and animal mascots is ridiculous. Theres a difference, INDIANS WERE PEOPLE. And there is a difference between Fighting Irish and Fighting Illini. Notre Dame is a Catholic Institution, where much of the student body, and almost all of the high ranking religious officials, claim irish descent. There aren't any Illini in the Illini crowd today, nor were there ever; needless to say, they aren't represented on the board of trustees either. Some mascots CAN be offensive; namely, if the people the team name claims to honor have no say whatsoever.
 
#12
Maybe we can change the name to the Illinois 'Civilized' Illini and have the chief shake hands with players and fans before the game.
 
#14
Illini Foot Soldier
Flight33 - First of all, when you start off a post by bringing up Norman Dale, its becomes that much harder to take what you are saying seriously. Maybe its because I personally hate that movie and pretty much everything Indiana Basketball, but yet I digress.

I grew up in Urbana, and have been a Illini fan as long as I remember (my first real memory is of the Flying Illini). And last season meant more to me than anything in the world. That said, I have never stood for the Chief, and I dont think that makes me any less of an Illini fan. Certainly, as a townie, i dont like listening to people harp about "honoring the tradition" of the Chief if they aren't enough of an illini fan to know who tj wheeler is.
I don't believe anyone on this board ever said that if you are anti-Chief, then you aren't a true Illini fan. If anyone did say that, then they have a pretty odd view of what it really means to be an Illini fan. As far as you being a townie (isn't that also a derogatory word for a group of people too?) who doesn't like to listen to "people harp about honoring the tradition", well guess what? This is America, stick your fingers in your ears and don't listen to them.

Its hard to support a replacement for the Fighting Illini as a team name, but the key issue on this campus is the Chief. Chief supporters like to paint themselves as the "real" Illini fans, but keeping it real is about supporting the team, not the mascot. It really pisses me off to see the Orange Crush filled with shirts that only say "Chief," with no mention of the Illinois or the Illini.
You start here by talking about the key issues on campus when nothing we have discussed on this thread has been about the debate on campus but rather the NCAA's selfish and unnecessary intrusion into decisions that should be at the campus level. I understand the debate on campus since I just spent four plus years of my life there but thats not what this is about. I, and probably most of the people here, feel that this should be decided locally but the argument is if the NCAA has the legal right to decide this for us, which the answer is no. Again though, I digress. Just as much as I'm sure most anti-Chief Illini fans are "real" fans, so are the pro-Chief fans so I'm missing your point with the second sentance. As for as the Orange Krush, its Krush with a K and not a C and its a tshirt, get over it.

Just realize that even if people have the best intentions to be respectful, the symbol of the Chief is not honorable in any sense. Anti-Chief people have it wrong when they only see things in terms of bigotry--the people standing are not doing so to demonstrate their contempt for the Indians. But, that said, He wears the clothes of the Sioux, the tribe that wiped out the Illini. The dance has evolved over the years, not to more closely resemble the culture of the Illini, but to please the crowd. It is a tradition started by white people, cultivated by white people, and drawn in the white man's image of the indian that he has never met.
Even if everything you wrote there is true, which is sure alot of it is, getting rid of the symbol isn't the answer to fixing the problem. Anti-Chief people love talking about how inaccurate the symbol is, yet they offer absolutely no remedy to fix the problem other than the 100% removal of the Chief. Nice logic there. Also, Martin Luther King Day in America was started and made official by a US Congress that had no black members, and very few of whom had actually met the man, would you like to get rid of that as well?

The fact is, on both sides of the chief issue, its not about the real Illini at all. People are fighting each other. Pro-Chief people dont like outsiders telling them what to do; its part of being midwestern; anti-chief people, like me, dont like being told they aren't real fans because they dont stand up at halftime.
I agree with you that pro-Chief people and anti-Chief people love fighting with each other but your characterzations are completely off. Pro-Chief people don't like outsiders because we are midwestern? What does that even mean? And again, no one said you weren't a real fan because you were anti-Chief.

We got to hold on to our tradition, but we should hold on to stuff that symbolizes our bond with the university and the team. If the NCAA ruling leads to anything, it should remind us we should respect symbols that unite Illini fans, not divide us.
Let me paraphrase this for everyone - We got to hold on to our tradition (as long as the anti-Chief people get to say what that tradition is), but we should hold on to stuff that symbolizes our bond with the University and the team (as long as that 'stuff' has nothing to do with the Chief, the Illini, the name Illinois, or native American's in general). If the NCAA ruling leads to anything, it should remind us we should respect symbols that unite Illini fans, not divide us (but who really cares about that as long as we get rid of the Chief)

THE MAJORITY'S OPINOIN ISN'T WRONG JUST BECAUSE THE MINORITY DOESN'T AGREE WITH THE MAJORITY'S OPINOIN!
 
#16
Illini Foot Soldier
flight33 said:
oh, and please, the "where does it end" about PETA and animal mascots is ridiculous. Theres a difference, INDIANS WERE PEOPLE. And there is a difference between Fighting Irish and Fighting Illini. Notre Dame is a Catholic Institution, where much of the student body, and almost all of the high ranking religious officials, claim irish descent. There aren't any Illini in the Illini crowd today, nor were there ever; needless to say, they aren't represented on the board of trustees either. Some mascots CAN be offensive; namely, if the people the team name claims to honor have no say whatsoever.
As far as the Notre Dame thing goes, I'm going to have to explain this again because thats how completely you missed my point. The NCAA said that it finds it unacceptable for schools to have mascots, nicknames and symbols that are based on race and nationality. If that is true, that why isn't the NCAA concerned about the Fighting Irish? Isn't it then racist for the NCAA to come out against Illinois, Florida State and Utah because it involves native Americans but not against Notre Dame and San Diego State because its the Irish and the Aztecs? Isn't the Notre Dame mascot more grossly inaccurate than Chief Illiniwek? You say that there aren't any Illini around anymore, then when you, Flight33, stand up against the Spartans, the Trojans and the Aztecs, then you can come back here and make that argument. Until then the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois should and does have the final say on this issue and they should stand up against the NCAA for intruding on that right.
 
#17
i'll give you that , and i do think the ncaa pulling the issue as an outsider from above is only going to complicate the issue for illini fans. I just wish it was us that got to make that decision. I think the whole chief debate is about that, not wanting other people from outside telling us what to do.

But still, the difference for me is that the unlike Spartans or Aztecs, the Illini are part of our collective past as Americans, or Illinoisans or whatever. I find it different to "celebrate" the history of the people that we supplanted in order to celebrate our own "tradition."

That said, thats only my opinion, not anyone elses. I guess the deal is that i should have the right to sit down for the Chief, and you should have the right to stand up. And no one really should have the choice to decide for anyone else.
 
#18
and does anyone know about this? All of the Illini gear is "official NCAA" attire, meaning they have their stamp on it. You know, there are those ads that say to buy only officially NCAA merchandise so the college gets money too, not just random tshirt makers.

So the questions is, doesnt the NCAA get a cut? If they did, it would be pretty hypocritical to keep making money on fighting illini gear...

what also sucks is that the ruling only really hurts sports that have never had the Chief at their events. U of I will never host a bball and football tournament, but to sports like tennis, wrestling, volleyball, etc, that has a lot to do with prestige. I just dont think the ruling has enough claws to really effect the sports its trying to target.
 
#19
Illini Foot Soldier
Well like you said in your first post, lets make things real clear - if the entire Chief issue was about making our own decisions then why didn't the anti-Chief accept the 2003 student election referendum that said that over 70% of the Champaign campus approved of Chief Illiniwek as the symbol of the University? Thats the part that doesn't make sense because if it was really about choice and not letting outsiders tell us what to do, then all you would need is a simple up or down vote (which has been done many times by the Board of Trustees and the student body as a whole) to resolve the issue. But whatever, doesn't really matter now.

As far as the differences between the Chief and the Aztecs, or Spartans, are you implying that because the Aztecs were from Mexico and the Spartans were from Greece that its ok to honor and celebrate them but because the Illini Confederation was from Illinois that its not? I would think just the opposite, that because of the close connection between the Illini, the State of Illinois, the people that live in Illinois and the students that go to the University that bears its name, we have every right to celebrate the culture whose past was completely connected to ours.

Thats just my opinoin, I could be wrong (but I'm usually not)
 
#20
The student thing is a tough one for me. As a townie though, (a derogatory term that I have "reclaimed," which is the difference there. You can only "reclaim" a term if you're one of the people who gets called that), I dont wanna give up judgement about Illini tradition to people who come four years and leave.

On the one hand, i believe members of the local community--employees of the university, the people of champaign-urbana, all the people from towns who have followed the illini their whole lives--also have an important say. That said, i also support the value of student action, from the protests of the 60s and 70s to today. And as it is, the anti-Chief people are a minority in almost all different areas of the Illini community (the only exception would be people within the university who think there is more to a university than an athletic program)...and so it goes, if thats where people stand, the ncaa doesnt have the right to determine this, and neither do I...

but still, the thing about the illini vs spartans or aztecs:

Are we honoring the real Illini?? Thats where we disagree, and no one's opinion is "right." I just think we are honoring our own tradition--the dances that originally were performed by boy scouts at summer camps, the ones that were cultivated by anti-immigrant and racist organizations that epoused 100% White Protestant Americanism, and later the display cheered by Illini fans as a part of their history--but i dont see that as honoring the Illini. My point isn't that the Chief is "inaccurate," but that it never really had to do with the real Illini in the first place. To me, the main difference between a minstrel show and the half-time dance is that the white performer trades in blackface for war-paint.

Now that last statement isnt totally fair. The main difference is that the audience at minstrel shows was laughing at the performer. The standing Illini fans are standing to HONOR the symbol of the Chief, if not the actual Illini themselves. I take issue with that distinction, but the fact is, the Anti-Chief people refuse to acknowledge the fact that Chief supporters aren't laughing under their breaths at the Chief. From being an Illini fan my whole life, I do understand that Illini fans who stand for (in both senses of the phrase) the Chief have nothing but reverence and respect for him, and thats admirable. I'm not trying to merely slander pro-Chief people as ill-informed or "insensitive" ( a useless term in this discussion), but I just wanted to open an actual debate on the significance of the Chief himself.

I appreciate people on this board taking me seriously enough to criticize the arguments I am making. For the most part, this is a topic where people would rather preach to the choir than leave their church.
 
#21
Illini Foot Soldier
I actually don't have to the time to get into everything right now, so I will have to give an indepth response later but I wanted to say a few things

- I didn't just come for four years and leave. I'm from Chicago, have always loved the University, went to school there, and though I don't live there now, have been back alot of times since graduation. The Illini and Champaign-Urbana communities are just as much mine as they are everyone else's.
- I think you underestimate the pro-Chief people by implying that we only think of the University as an athletic program and not as anything more. If anything, the reason we care so much about the issue is because we understand that the tradition effects so much more than just the basketball and football teams.
- I do feel that there is a connection between the Chief Illiniwek Tradition and the "real" Illini of Illinois. Just because it started back in the early 1926 after the Illini has disappeared don't make it any less significant and honorable. If you don't believe that then thats your opinion but don't kill the tradition just because you think there is no connection with the "real" Illini, lets make the tradition better by connecting them. Unless the anti-Chief argument isn't about making the situation better . . .
- You can't compare minstrel shows to the Chief Illiniwek traditional and symbol, end of story
- You never really did explain how the Illini are different from the Aztecs and Spartans and why they should be treated different on a general scale
- Discussion is good
 
#22
Illini Foot Soldier
flight33 said:
and does anyone know about this? All of the Illini gear is "official NCAA" attire, meaning they have their stamp on it. You know, there are those ads that say to buy only officially NCAA merchandise so the college gets money too, not just random tshirt makers.

So the questions is, doesnt the NCAA get a cut? If they did, it would be pretty hypocritical to keep making money on fighting illini gear...

what also sucks is that the ruling only really hurts sports that have never had the Chief at their events. U of I will never host a bball and football tournament, but to sports like tennis, wrestling, volleyball, etc, that has a lot to do with prestige. I just dont think the ruling has enough claws to really effect the sports its trying to target.
Hmm, thats a good question. I have no idea how the NCAA is going to deal with that issue. I know the copyrights belong to the school itself but how the NCAA gets involved in the sale of athletic products is fishy.

I will say this - the NCAA's decision isn't about sports, and it certainly isn't about native Americans. Its money, and I'm sure the NCAA will find a way to making money.
 
#23
Part of what I don't understand about the arguement whether we are honoring the Illini or not by having them as our mascot is:

Why in the world would we pick a mascot that we didn't respect or honor as a symbol for our school?

I don't agree with removing the native american people from their land. I don't agree with the way they were treated. But I also don't agree with Bush keeping out troops in Iraq. I still respect and admire all native american people, just like I respect and admire every soldier that puts him/herself in danger to protect my rights and freedom. How about instead of keeping us from honoring the Illini (or the Seminole, or the Ute) people the NCAA punishes those schools who burn dummies dressed in native american clothing, and display signs that have negative sayings about native american mascots? Maybe they should reconsider exactly WHO is disrespecting the native american people.

- Badgers, Wolverines, Spartans, Fighting Irish... all mascots meant to be respected and feared by opponents.

- Seminoles, Utes, Fighting Illini... what the hell is the difference?

- Hoosiers, Buckeyes, Banana Slugs?????? Don't even get me started. (yeah yeah yeah, a Buckeye is a POISONOUS nut... so DON'T eat it!!)

As a PRO-CHIEF (see pic, YES it is tattooed in the middle of my upper back), hardcore Illini fan, I say let us decide. It has been an issue for us for so long now, and the majority has spoken. More Illinois students/alumni want to keep the Chief than get rid of him. Why can't we just leave it at that?
 

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#24
Wait, take back my last comment about changing the name to the Illinois Civilized Illini. That would probably offend the civilized people.