Thursday, August 31, 2006

Report: University of Illinois to drop Chief Illiniwek mascot

The current Chief Illiniwek graduates next spring, so this appears to be a good time for my alma mater to cave in to the forces of political-correctness.

From AP:

Chief Illiniwek will likely no longer be the official symbol of the University of Illinois after this year, according to a published report.

Citing unidentified university sources, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday that the university tentatively plans to drop the controversial American Indian mascot at the end of the men's basketball season this year, leaving open the possibility that the school's teams could host NCAA events in the spring.

The NCAA has deemed Illiniwek and his dance a "hostile and abusive" use of American Indian imagery, and Illinois is barred from hosting postseason NCAA events. The athletic association placed Illinois on its list of noncompliant schools last August and has upheld its decision through two university appeals.

In June 2004, the university's Board of Trustees adopted a resolution establishing a process to seek what it terms a "consensus conclusion" regarding Chief Illiniwek's future. It set no timetable for reaching that conclusion and maintained as late as June of this year that the process is ongoing.

Despite howls of protests that the Chief is offensive to Native Americans, this study came up with surprising results.

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