Friday, September 29, 2006

Illini Undercut?

Mad About Mascot
The University of Illinois has yet to retire "Chief Illiniwek" a year after the NCAA
ripped the school for continuing to employ an Indian mascot. Now, one group of professors upset over the lack of progress is hitting the athletic department where it hurts, mailing current football and basketball recruits urging them not to attend Illinois because of its "hostile and abusive" use of Native American imagery.
The professors say potential student athletes should know that the school "refuses to commit to equality for all races and places more value on an outdated and divisive mascot than on a
winning program."

How would you like to be a coach at the University of Illinois? Fights between faculty and athletic departments are nothing new. Short sighted faculty see athletics as a trivial thing that often gets precedent over the true mission of the university. Shortsighted members of athletic departments see faculty as the "non-money making entities" saying such things as, "I've
never seen 90,000 people attend a forensics meet or academic meet."Truth is both of them need the other. So if you're in the faculty and you're upset about the athletic mascot, address it with the leaders of the university.

Don't undercut the athletic programs. Like it or not, athletics bring big time money into the university. I still don't understand the uproar over Native American mascots. Why does this offend people? The parallel with the "Fighting Irish" of Notre Dame is my favorite. That's easily the most offensive mascot in sports, and people love it.

Do you know why? Because they don't take it seriously. It's sports. It's not life or death. If the Illini referred to themselves as the Fightin' Savages, or the Ragin' Injuns, the Runnin' Scalpers then that would be offensive.

1 comment:

BRATCH said...

It's really a shame too because Illinois has one of my favorite logos with the indian with the giant headdress.