Thursday, August 25, 2005

Illini case isn't similar to Seminoles


Illini case isn't similar to Seminoles
By Neil Milbert
Tribune staff reporter

August 23, 2005, 10:28 PM CDT

CHAMPAIGN -- The chairman of the Illinois Board of Trustees applauded Tuesday's decision by the NCAA to allow Florida State to continue using its Seminoles nickname and imagery in postseason play.

But Lawrence Eppley said the Florida State situation was not analogous to Illinois' Fighting Illini nickname or Chief Illiniwek mascot.

"They based it on the maturity of the relationship with the Seminole tribe," Eppley said of the NCAA staff review committee's decision. "That's one of the things that makes their situation different from our situation. The NCAA pronouncement was too black and white for what is in the end a gray social issue."

Florida State and Illinois were among 18 schools the NCAA cited Aug. 5 as having Native American nicknames and mascots it deemed "hostile" or "abusive."

"The staff review committee noted the unique relationship between the university and the Seminole tribe of Florida as a significant factor [in exempting Florida State]," NCAA Senior Vice President Bernard Franklin said. "The decision of a namesake sovereign tribe regarding how its name and image can be used must be respected, even if others may not agree."

Postseason mascot and imagery bans on schools with Native American nicknames and mascots will take effect Feb. 1 and apply to all competition conducted by the NCAA. Schools have until then to appeal.

Florida State appealed immediately. School President T.J. Wetherell had threatened to sue the NCAA if the committee had upheld the postseason ban on identifying with the Seminoles.

Illinois President B. Joseph White and the board of trustees "don't have any timetable for making a decision" on whether to appeal, said Thomas Hardy, executive director of university relations.

Last week Eppley reacted to a letter from NCAA President Myles Brand in USA Today that lauded the Aug. 5 edict by strongly objecting to the "harsh rhetoric" it contained, namely use of the words "hostile" and "abusive" in characterizing Illinois' nickname and mascot.

Eppley pointed out that the nickname Illini had been coined by the student newspaper 52 years before the Chief Illiniwek tradition was introduced in 1926 by the Marching Illini band performing at athletic contests.

His research further revealed that the phrase "Fighting Illini" traced to a pregame promotional flier lauding the spirit of the 1919 football team and that the university's use of the nickname dates "to 1921 and the fund-raising campaign to build Memorial Stadium in honor of ... students and alumni who fought and died in World War I."

A distinction between the Florida State Seminoles and the Illinois Fighting Illini also exists because there never was an Illini tribe. Illini is derived from Illinois, the French spelling for the Native American word "Iliniwok," a confederation of the Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Michiganmea, Moinwena, Peoria and Tamaroa tribes.

nmilbert@tribune.com



Copyright © 2005, The Chicago Tribune

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I was just looking around the net for web sites related to love relationship and came across your blog. I was going to add a blog to my site, for love relationship and of course other related material, but I'm not sure if it would work.
I'm a bit worried about getting un-wanted 'rude' posts rather than ones related to love relationship on my site...... perhaps I just try it out - then you can come and post on it :)

Take care
Stewart

2:41 AM  
Blogger Best Home Based Business said...

Creative blog.  I thought it was the best site out
and we had to go back to it! Every chance I get on the
net I search for blogs just like your site.
Come as you are and look at my home based business merchant account blog.

6:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home