You’re going to hear a lot about the Seminoles in the coming days. (The Florida State men’s basketball team is making a run for the NCAA championship.) Is that offensive? Is it hostile and abusive?
As Sporting News AOL Fanhouse columnist Greg Couch notes in his column: From an official standpoint it’s hard to tell.
The NCAA described the use of Native mascots using the terms hostile and abusive six years ago, Couch writes. But you still see names and images of Seminoles and Fighting Sioux on the courts and fields year after year.
Couch argues that both the Seminole tribes in Florida and the university have monetary incentives to keep the name around. He always notes several conversations he’s had with Tribal members who feel the mascots honorary. There are a lot of unanswered questions.
And while a number of schools, including the University of Illinois, have succumbed to the NCAA and made changes, the whole move has been one ugly, messy, confusing failure.
Because the NCAA’s leadership has been so weak.
Even more so, it has exemplified the typical NCAA hypocrisy and greed. If you think imagery is hostile and abusive, and you are the governing body, then you cannot allow the Florida State Seminoles to run up and down the court. During its football games, FSU still has a student dressed as Chief Osceola riding onto the field on a horse, planting a flaming spear into the turf.
That’s not hostile and abusive, but Chief Illiniwek, the former Illinois mascot who used to dance at halftime of its football games, was?
Where does the NCAA actually stand on this? What was it after?