Tuesday , Aug , 23 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

NCAA reverses field on Florida State nickname

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Florida State can continue to use the
nickname Seminoles in NCAA championships.

The NCAA has removed Florida State from its list of colleges subject to
restrictions on the use of Native American names, mascots and imagery.

On August 5, Florida State was one of 18 schools the NCAA cited in its new
policy on the prohibition of hostile and abusive racial/ethnic/national origin
displays at any of its 88 championships.

However, the organization then allowed for an appeals process, which Florida
State took up immediately. The school said its use of the Seminole nickname
was not hostile, abusive or disrespectful and cited its “60-year history of
honoring the Florida Seminoles” in a letter to the NCAA.

The NCAA has apparently agreed.

“The NCAA Executive Committee continues to believe the stereotyping of Native
Americans is wrong,” wrote NCAA senior vice-president for governance and
membership Bernard Franklin in a statement Tuesday.

“However, in its review of the particular circumstances regarding Florida
State, the staff review committee noted the unique relationship between the
university and the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a significant factor. The NCAA
recognizes the many different points of view on this matter, particularly
within the Native American community. The decision of a namesake sovereign
tribe, regarding when and how its name and imagery can be used, must be
respected even when others may not agree.

“The NCAA position on the use of Native American mascots, names and imagery
has not changed, and the NCAA remains committed to ensuring an atmosphere of
respect and sensitivity for all who participate in and attend our
championships. This decision applies to the unique relationship Florida State
University has with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Requests for reviews from
other institutions will be handled on a case-by-case basis.”

The other schools cited in the August 5 directive included Alcorn State
University (Braves); Central Michigan University (Chippewas); Catawba College
(Indians); Midwestern State University (Indians); University of Utah (Utes);
Indiana University-Pennsylvania (Indians); Carthage College (Redmen); Bradley
University (Braves); Arkansas State University (Indians); Chowan College
(Braves); University of Illinois (Fighting Illini); University of Louisiana-
Monroe (Indians); McMurry University (Indians); Mississippi College
(Choctaws); Newberry College (Indians); University of North Dakota (Fighting
Sioux) and Southeastern Oklahoma State University (Savages).