College Sports Mascots, Native Americans, and the NCAA
According to the NCAA, this block "U" with a feather attached
is an "offensive" logo. Apparently no one at the NCAA has asked the
Native American tribe involved what they think, however.
Now for a brief descent into triviality. Apparently the NCAA has decided that Native American "mascots" are no longer acceptable for its member schools. It also apparently does not matter whether or not the Native American tribe in question approves of the use of its name (which is the case with the Florida State Seminoles and my team, the Utah Utes). Read all about the NCAA action here.
I am somewhat ambivalent about all this, but above all I think we are witnessing political correctness run amok. In Utah's case the school gave up the offensive name "Redskins" in 1972. Since then the University has pretty much had an open offer to the Ute tribe: Any time you want us to stop using your tribal name, just tell us, and we will stop. The current Utah logo looks like the one above, right. It's approved by the Ute tribal council and should not be offensive to anyone-- even the NCAA.
Sadly, the NCAA is governed by a President's Council, which consists of a bunch of university presidents. Not surprisingly, we are talking about a gaggle of academics and the Council is not, shall we say, a hotbed of center-right thought. What else can we expect from such a group?
Probably anticipating the inevitable triumph of PC thinking, the University has long had a plan in place to switch to another mascot and logo if that ever becomes necessary. Enter the red-tailed hawk, a majestic bird that is indigenous to Utah (and to most of North America, for that matter).
Maybe someday the Utah logo will someday look like this one:
The school could do worse. A student wearing an attractively cartoonish red-tailed hawk suit and named Swoop already dances and performs other antics at football and basketball games. Here's Swoop:
(That's the BYU Cougar he's holding in a somewhat compromised position.)
I have no idea what the Florida State Seminoles are going to do. Maybe they'll become the Swamp Hawks.