Huskies Insider Blog

Mascots

You may recall that the NCAA has been trying to discourage American Indian mascots and imagery at its official events, including the NCAA tournament.

A couple of affected schools are in San Diego.

Marquette was once the Warriors, and then became the Golden Eagles. That well enough wasn't left alone however, as a supporter offered a huge donation to the school if they would go back to Warriors. That reopened the issue, and the university briefly tried to settle things by switching its nickname to the Gold (much as Stanford did in going from Indians to Cardinal). That didn't last long, and I am proud to report that there is an appropriately silly looking someone in a golden eagle costume milling around the cheerleaders and band.

In a few hours, Illinois won't be as fortunate. My understanding is that the NCAA judged their "Illini" mascot offensive and he won't be at Cox Arena.

In general, I like what the NCAA is trying to do here. The NFL's "Redskins" is a horrible name that should have been banished decades ago. Same with the Cleveland Indians grinning Chief Wahoo logo.

The Illini seems far less offensive in both name and logo, and especially since there is no "Illini" tribe around to either take offense or to bless the name as the Seminoles have done for Florida State Univeristy. (Although I am pleased there will be no Western movie-looking "Indian" dancing around with the cheerleaders here.)

A couple of opposing views on the topic: pro Illini from columnist Skip Bayliss and con from Michael Bauman.

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