CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - The Chief logo continues to be the center of controversy at the U of I as faculty claims the school is using it at athletic events.
When reaching out to faculty, they provided WAND with a list of more than 30 signatures asking the NCAA to take matters into its own hands. The claim said rules were broken according to the NCAA handbook when the school:
• Continues to use racial/ethnic references in their intercollegiate athletic programs, in violation of NCAA recommendations,
• Fails to promote the NCAA’s core values pertaining to cultural diversity, ethical sportsmanship and nondiscrimination and fails to take proactive steps at NCAA events through institutional event management to enhance the integrity of intercollegiate athletics related to these issues,
• Has refused to educate its constituencies on the negative impact of hostile or abusive Native American symbols, names and imagery, in violation of NCAA recommendations,
• Has publicly endorsed hostile and abusive depictions of American Indians as sports mascots,
• Continues to market the Chief Illiniwek logo in excess of any legal requirement to maintain logo ownership,
• Continues to use the terms “Illini” and “Fighting Illini” as references to Native Americans, in violation of NCAA recommendations,
• Has failed to enforce its ownership rights to Chief Illiniwek, Chief and Illiniwek, allowing their widespread use,
• Selectively enforces university regulations regarding the use of university athletic facilities, allowing violations by Illiniwek supporters and facilitating access and efforts of those who would maintain the university’s use of Native American stereotypes, imagery and mascots,
• Facilitates performances of Chief Illiniwek at NCAA events, in violation of NCAA recommendations,
• Ignores the recommendations of appointed and elected UIUC student and faculty governing bodies that encourage establishing a new sports mascot.
However, the U of I chancellor Robery Jones said the school is not breaking any rules. In fact, he issued a press release:
“I have seen a copy of this letter and I found it to be replete with inaccurate information. None of the issues the authors apparently felt compelled to write about to the NCAA constitute any violation by any stretch of the imagination. I remain fully committed to working in collaboration and consultation with our broad community of alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends to find a path towards reconciliation and agreement that lets us move forward together from this divisive issue.”
Faculty is now waiting for a response from the NCAA. WAND will continue to update as more information becomes available.