700 W. Washington St.
PO Box 6222
Indianapolis, IN 46206-6222
I am an alumnus of the University of Illinois and have been to literally hundreds of NCAA sanctioned events over my short life. From that first sentence I gather you know what this letter is about.
I find it rather humorous that you are giving the Florida State Seminoles a pass on their nickname and pre-game ceremony where a Seminole tribesman tosses a flaming spear into the center of the field, yet won't give the Illini a pass for a halftime dance that is respectful, in good taste and well done. The Seminole even trots up and down the sidelines on the back of a horse during the game where the only time you see the Chief at Illini games is that little three minute dance during halftime. Shows you where the NCAA's bread is buttered, doesn't it?
But no mind. Soon you will have quashed most of the "native-american" nicknames you so want to get rid of all in the name of your "commitment" - from this document:
...the Executive Committee concluded that Native American references used by each university create hostile or abusive environments inconsistent with the NCAA constitution and inconsistent with the NCAA commitment to diversity, respect and sportsmanship.Your "commitment" is a bunch of bullshit. Forgive my blunt language, but lets lay the cards out on the table, shall we?
Athletes on steroids. Athletes not graduating. Point shaving scandals. Billions of dollars in TV contracts. And the elimination of SOME native american nicknames fits in...where? I would think in the billions of dollars part. What else would explain the fact that there are still Seminoles in the NCAA but soon no Illini, Sioux or others?
I find it humorous in an obtuse way that you have spent so much time on this. Since when did the Fighting Illini nickname create some sort of hostile environment? I have been to at least 50 Illini football games over the years and I have yet to encounter any hostility from anyone that had anything to do with that name.
Oh well, you have your wish. Soon the U of I will be the Eagles, Wildcats or something else uninspiring. Hope you are happy. I personally think you may want to re-sort your priorities a bit. It is apparent from the current "wink and a nod" stance on steroids and graduation rates that you think that mortgaging the futures of young men is in your best interests as long as you and your buddies are enriched. Yet getting rid of native american nicknames takes a top priority at your office. Except the Seminoles, of course, because they take in too much money for the NCAA.
I honestly don't know how you people sleep at night.