NCAA ban needs revamp

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 13, 2005

Recently it was mandated by Myles Brand and his NCAA cohorts that teams with Native American monikers would be banned from displaying their team names during postseason tournament play and possibly banned from hosting post-season tournaments.

The reason behind the ruling is a simple one.

Basically the ruling states that any college displaying or promoting hostile or abusive references on their mascots, cheerleaders, dance teams, band uni’s or paraphernalia must stop by Aug. 2008.

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This means, if you have been holding out to buy that San Diego State Aztec baseball jersey, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini bomber jacket, the Utah Ute logo t-shirt or the Florida State University Seminole basketball jersey, it might be good to go ahead and purchase them.

Bellecourt was jacked with the decision, but after a statement made by Walter Harrison, who serves as chairman of the NCAA’s Executive Committee, the enforcement behind the ruling can stand to be questioned.

The idea is fundamentally good.

There are some schools on the list that should have their mascots and nicknames changed &045; for instance the Carthage College Redmen and the Southeastern Oklahoma State Savages, to name a couple.

But then you have schools like San Diego State and Florida State.

SDSU that realized their original mascot was offensive and took steps to fix it by doing some research with the Aztec Nation and then you have FSU who’s campus, traditions and being is heavily interlaced with and accepted by the Seminole tribes of Florida as well as the southeast.

Florida State, however is prepared to fight for their heritage and school nickname. Recently, the University’s Board of Directors met and passed legislation citing a formal appeal to the NCAA Executive Committee. It was also at that same meeting legislation was passed to pursue legal action against the NCAA all-together.

Since the NCAA wants to ban names, how about starting with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, they could get a daily double there. They could get rid of a name that has been offensive to a whole country and a mascot that is offensive to little people the world over. I’m talking about the Leprechaun that prowls the sideline at South Bend.

Why stop there NCAA?

Ban teams who nicknames are "Volunteers,&uot; for it may offend those who were drafted. How about taking steps to make the PETA people happy as well and ban all the animal mascots – that takes away all the Lions, Tigers and Bears (Oh my), as well as your Bulldogs, Wildcats, Buffalos, Longhorns and any other creature that has four legs. Hey, NCAA if you are going to do this, do it right – you might as well make the people in the ornithological community happy as well by banning all the bird references. Just sign the petition, pass the order and take away all your Eagles, Ducks and Hokies (I’m assuming the Va. Tech Hokie is a Turkey).

The bottom line is that diversity and being sensitive is a good thing. I’m not going to dispute that. But at the same time, you can get carried away with things.

The NCAA made a blanket ruling without looking at all the factors.

If FSU’s appeal is turned down and they push it to a court case then that could become a-whole-nother story.