It appears as though the infamous Florida State tomahawk chop is headed the way of Rock and Roll Pt. II.
After four years of soul-searching, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced that it is officially offended by the use of Native American names and symbols by its member schools. While the NCAA will not outwardly ban such symbols, it has decided to punish school that do not change their mascot.
According to Inside Higher Education
, "The NCAA said that (1) it would no longer let such institutions play host to its national tournaments; (2) colleges already scheduled to sponsor such events would have to eliminate any references to the Indian imagery from the arenas or stadiums; (3) such colleges could not bring mascots, cheerleaders or any other people or paraphernalia that feature Native American imagery to NCAA championships, beginning in 2008; and (4) athletes may not wear uniforms or other gear with “hostile and abusive” references at NCAA tournament events."
Eighteen schools will be affected, including Maryland's ACC collegues at Florida State (the Seminoles), even though representatives from Florida's Seminole tribes have approved the use of the name and logo for the school.
The new policies go into effect in February 2006, meaning schools will be able to participate in 2005 football season events without punishment.
What's next on the politically correct chopping block? Will Notre Dame's Fighting Irish be deemed offensive to those Irish who strive for peace? Will Testudo be banned for incorrectly representing the quiet, reserved and loving nature of the terrapin?
Aren't there more important problems with collegiate athletics than mascots who might be offensive? Apparently not.