Skip to comments.Jeb Bush blasts NCAA
Posted on 08/19/2005 5:10:46 AM PDT by presidio9
Count Gov. Jeb Bush among the Floridians outraged at the NCAA's recent announcement that it is banning the use of 18 Indian mascots and nicknames -- including the Florida State Seminoles -- during NCAA-sanctioned events beginning next February.
''I think it's offensive to Native Americans . . . the Seminole Indian tribe who support the traditions of FSU,'' Bush said Tuesday. 'I think they insult those people by telling them, `No, no, you're not smart enough to understand this. You should be feeling really horrible about this.' It's ridiculous. How politically correct can we get? The folks that make these decisions need to get out more often.''
The FSU Board of Trustees called an ''emergency'' meeting for 1 p.m. today to discuss the issue and plan their appeal. Attorney Barry Richard, who represented George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential recount, has agreed to represent FSU in a lawsuit against the NCAA, if it comes to that.
FSU president T.K. Wetherall said he will ''pursue all legal avenues'' to get the ruling overturned. The Seminole Tribe of Florida in June passed a resolution supporting FSU's use of their name and mascot Chief Osceola. ''It is unconscionable that the Seminole Tribe of Florida has been ignored,'' Wetherall said.
FSU, Illinois (Illini) and Utah (Utes) are among the schools that would be prohibited from displaying their name and logo at postseason tournaments.
Haggard said forcing FSU to change its name would be like asking Notre Dame to ditch Fighting Irish and the leprechaun mascot because they might offend Irish people.
''You've got a little green guy in a hat, who looks like he's in a drunken stupor, hitting people with his cane,'' Haggard said. ``Should we assume Irish people are offended?''
Bush suggested the NCAA focus on more pressing issues.
''You know what they ought to be worried about? The graduation rates of most college athletes,'' Bush said. ``Maybe if they had some suggestions on that, that universities could apply and could implement, they could be doing a service to all of us.''
Being of Irish and Greek heritage, you have no idea the trauma I endure when the Michigan State Spartans play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
I wonder what new names North and South Dakota are going to have. Indiana has to go too, I suppose.
New to the Constitution: The right not to be offended.
I hadn't reallized how politically correct college football has become. I don't watch it anyway, but here's another reason to continue not watching.
Good for Jeb!
BTW, who's Haggard, as in, "Haggard said..."? He/she was not identified.
Some flunkie wrote me back, thanking me for my support. You would think someone associated with higher education would have a better understanding of, and appreciation for, satire and irony.
So I wrote back, and suggested that Florida State University, instead of calling themselves the Seminoles, should name themselves after a group that NOONE could admire. My suggestion: The Florida State University NCAA Executive Committees. Instead of the tomahawk chop, they could all lie supinely on their backs. Their hard core fans could simply have their spines removed.
I haven't heard back yet.
The NCAA made itself an easy target. I'd like to know specifically who with the NCAA made this decision. I'm betting that they have affiliation with a particular political party.
It is a total mystery to me how he got the job.
If all of the major colleges decided to dump the NCAA, and played in their own bowls, would they miss a beat?
This is really the tail wagging the dog.
If the NCAA disappeared, other than idiotic rulings like this, would anyone notice?
Well, unfortunately this does not apply to bowl games, and the NCAA just purchased the only basketball competitor (the NIT). The rest of the sports don't matter.
You don't know the anguish I have when the Irish and Purdue play... I don't know who to root for.. :(
Now, I would bet there are more descendants of cavaliers in the US then there are descendents of Seminole injuns.
I'm starting to get offended.
Miles Brand is replicating the damage he did to Indiana University on the whole NCAA. The Peter principle is alive and well.
Screw the NCAA. Don't bother with "appeals", just ignore them. If they try to DQ the teams, play anyway. If the member schools stand together, the NCAA will be de-fanged.
"It's ridiculous. How politically correct can we get? The folks that make these decisions need to get out more often.''
The President of The University of North Dakota (Fighting Sioux) has had the best response of anyone to this nutty issue. Read below.
An Open Letter from UND President Charles Kupchella to the NCAA
August 12, 2005
An Open Letter to the NCAA:
The quiet serenity of our beautiful campus was disturbed early August 5 by news reports that the NCAA had decided to address the Indian nickname issue. The early reports were unclear; the words mascot, nickname, and logo were used interchangeably, and the loaded words abusive and hostile were invoked without definition and without any real clear idea as to how they were being applied. We dont have a mascot, and our logo was designed by a very well-respected American Indian artist. We couldnt imagine that these reports would apply to us.
Later, we saw the full release. While it looked like the action taken by the NCAA was insulting, and a flagrant abuse of power, we knew that good, well-meaning people were involved in the decision and we wanted to consider our reaction carefully.
We were initially stunned by the charge abusive and hostile, and then angry. We reflected and gave it a week before drafting this response. I must admit to sinking at one point during the past week to the notion that my Association was guilty of political correctness run amok as suggested by some papers.
We want to file an appeal, but first we need to know the basis for your decisions. We need the answers to some questions first, in other words.
I do not wish to take up the issue, here, of any absolute or general correctness of using American Indian imagery. Those on both sides of the issue have long ago made up their minds, and no amount of talking over many years seems to have moved anyone from one side of the issue to the other. Suffice it to say, some choose to be insulted by the use of these terms; others are befuddled by this reaction to what they consider to be an honor. What I would like to take up here is a matter of the appropriateness and legality of the NCAAs action. I mean to take up the issue of whether the NCAA has gone over the edge and out of bounds in the action announced on Friday.
Is it the use of Indian names, images, and/or mascots to which you are opposed? If it is all of the above, which logos, images, and mascots do you indict by your announcement? Is it only certain ones? As I said, a very respected Indian artist designed and created a logo for the University. The logo is not unlike those found on United States coins and North Dakota highway patrol cars and highway signs. So we cant imagine that the use of this image is abusive or hostile in any sense of these words.
Is it the use of the names of tribes that you find hostile and abusive?
Not long ago I took a trip to make a proposal to establish an epidemiological program to support American Indian health throughout the Upper Great Plains. On this trip I left a state called North Dakota. (Dakota is one of the names the indigenous people of this region actually call themselves.) I flew over South Dakota, crossing the Sioux River several times, and finally landed in Sioux City, Iowa, just south of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The airplane in which I traveled that day was called a Cheyenne.
I think you should find my confusion here understandable, since obviously if we were to call our teams The Dakotans, we would actually be in more direct violation of what apparently you are trying to establish as a rule, even though this is the name of our state. This situation, of course, is not unlike that faced by our sister institution in Illinois.
Is it only when some well-meaning people object to the use of the names of tribes? If so, what standard did you use to decide where the line from acceptable to hostile and abusive is crossed? We note that you exempted a school with a certain percentage of American Indian students. We have more than 400 American Indian students here. Who decided that a certain percentage was okay, but our percentage was not? Where is the line between okay and hostile/abusive?
We have two Sioux tribes based here in North Dakota. One has, in fact, objected to our use of the name, Sioux, applied to our sports teams. The other said it was okay, provided that we took steps to ensure that some good comes of it, in educating people and students about the cultural heritage of this region. This mix of opinions is apparently not unlike that faced by our sister institution in Florida.
Is it only about applying names to sports teams? If so, would this be extended to the use of the names of all people, or is it just American Indians? Why would you exempt the Fighting Irish from your consideration, for example? Or Vikings, which are really fighting Scandinavians, or Warriors, which I suppose could be described as fighting anybodies? Wouldnt it be discrimination on account of race to have a policy that applies to Indians but not to Scandinavians or the Irish, or anybody else for that matter? This seems especially profound in light of a letter to me from President Brand (8/9/05) in which he, in very broad-brush fashion and inconsistent with the NCAAs recent much narrower pronouncement, said, we believe that mascots, nicknames or images deemed hostile or abusive in terms of race, ethnicity or national origin should not be visible at our events. (my emphasis)
As to the flagrant abuse of power question, I want to make sure I have this straight. Weve recently built some magnificent facilities costing well over $100 million, under rules permitting us to host championship tournaments and otherwise participate fully in NCAA sanctioned activities, in which the very architecture of the building incorporates names and images of American Indian people. Do you really expect us now to spend large amounts of money to erase what we consider to be respectful images and names of Indian people who inhabited this region in the interest of the NCAA Executive Committee?
Hostile and abusive??
Help me understand why you think hostile and abusive applies to us. We have more than 25 separate programs in support of American Indian students here receiving high-end university educations. Included among these is an Indians Into Medicine program, now 30+ years running, that has generated 20 percent of all American Indian doctors in the United States. We have a similar program in Nursing, one in Clinical Psychology, and we are about to launch an Indians into Aviation program in conjunction with our world-class Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. I am very proud when I visit reservations in our state to see that a large number of the teachers, doctors, Tribal College presidents, and other leaders are graduates of the University of North Dakota.
Do you really expect us to host a tournament in which these names and images are covered in some way that would imply that we are ashamed of them?
Concerning tournaments already scheduled: Is the NCAA taking the position that it can actually unilaterally modify a contract already made? Perhaps the charge (sometimes heard) that the NCAA exhibits too much of the arrogance that comes from its status as a monopoly apart from the question of whether its an effective organization does indeed have a basis.
If the NCAA has all this power, why not use it to restore intercollegiate athletics to the ideal of sportsmanship by decoupling intercollegiate athletics from its corruption by big budgets? Why not use the power to put a halt to the out-of-control financial arms race that threatens to corrupt even higher education itself?
Yes, I know that in theory the NCAA is actually an association, and that UND is a member of it, and therefore its really we who are doing all of these things to ourselves, or failing to do all of these things ourselves. But is the NCAA really a democratic organization? Why did we not put these issues to a vote by all member schools??
In his USA Today essay, Myles Brand proclaimed that this is a teachable moment, suggesting that the NCAA decision is aimed at initiating a discussion on a national basis about how American Indians have been characterized . . . . Great idea! Lets have the discussion one that we should have had before this ruling was handed down, one that actually includes American Indians and puts this in the perspective of all that is important to them at this time in history. And while we are at it, why not also address the state of intercollegiate athletics whether or not student-athletes at some schools are being exploited, and whether or not there is an out-of-control financial arms race threatening the integrity of higher education itself.
In considering how to appeal, we find it exasperating that we cant tell what the basis for your initial decision was and how you singled us out in the first place. In a letter from Myles Brand to me (8/9/05) he suggests that we could, in an appeal, argue that our symbols or mascots do not create a hostile or abusive environment. But his letter also seems to suggest that as long as some think the environment is hostile, case closed.
By the way, the last time this issue was stirred up on our campus, a formal charge was made to the Office for Civil Rights that the use of our logo or nickname created a hostile environment here at the University. The Office for Civil Rights sent a half-dozen people to our campus. They fanned out across campus and after more than a week here, found no such thing. Did the Executive Committee find some things they missed, perhaps? Or does a committee in Indianapolis trump the Office for Civil Rights here, on the ground, in North Dakota?
Finally, I expect that we will file an appeal, because should we wish to take this issue to court, the courts would undoubtedly ask if we have exhausted all administrative remedies. Please send us the appropriate application forms, and give us an indication of how the appeal will be heard and when. If the timing of this appeal were such that your deadline occurs before the appeal is resolved, we would ask that the deadline be put off, otherwise we may well have to go to the expense of seeking an injunction halting the imposition of these policies until all of our questions can be answered satisfactorily.
We thank you in advance for considering our questions.
Charles E. Kupchella
Charles Kupchella is President of the University of North Dakota (UND). The University offers some 25 program in support of American Indian students, has a degree program in Indian Studies and has, and has had, dozens of cooperative programs on reservations throughout North Dakota. UND serves more than 400 American Indian students on its Grand Forks campus. The University has competed in seven NCAA National Championship games since 1999 in both Division I and Division II.
Guess the reporter skipped Journalism 101.
I think they should take the athlete out of the name due to the fact that it excludes those of us that are not athletes.
My Husband is all about SEC college football, especially anything about THE University of Alabama (Roll TIDE!). Gonna share this with him cause he's been keeping up with this and joking that PETA will jump on the bandwagon with something about 'red tides' (Alabama is Crimson Tide).
This weekend we are moving our oldest daughter to The University where she'll beginning studying Mechanical Engineering. Her bestfriend is a Barner! lol
I think they should take the student out of the name as it discriminates against those of us that barely qualified as students.
Jeb Bush is so right...concentrate on graduating some of these "gladiators" hired by colleges to play on their teams. Here in Austin, the University of Texas mens football and basketball teams only graduate about 25% of the players!!! * Source: NCAA
Since the Seminoles have said they are not offended, it's actually the right to not have the politically correct liberal thought police be offended.
Who died and left the NAAP in charge anyway? Bunch of communist bass turds.
Sorry bout that. I meant NCAA.
Why are you arguing with the NCAA they are absolutely correct. They just have not taken it far enough.
Hoosiers that has to go. Why make fun of people from Indiana.
The Colonials of George Washington - shoot they manage to make fun of practically the entire east coast.
Spartans of Michigan State
And the most obvious The Fighting Irish
Then of course you have the Paladins of Furman
The Volunteers of course this one isn't too far off the truth of a bunch of mountain hicks for the state of tennessee so maybe we will leave this one.
The Earlham Hustlin' Quakers. Do Quakers really hustle people?
The Cavaliers - gotta go
The Ragin Cajuns of La. Lafayette. Terrible how they make fun of those funny talking people in La.
The Mountaineers of App. State again like volunteers this one has a measure of truth so maybe we leave it.
Colgate Red Raiders, ECU Pirates, Charleston Southern Buccaneers - how dare we make fun of people who steal from others to make a living.
Eastern Kentucky Colonels - I have friends in the Army at this rank. It is terrible to disparage our military.
Austin Peay Governors - well ok making fun of politicians is a constitutional right
Tar Heels - I know lots of people from north carolina with tar on their heels it is becuase they are hicks who don't wear shoes.
And finally one of my favorite the Ole Miss Rebels. This one must go ..wait it must go because we can't honor southern soldiers.
So the NCAA wants to ban indian mascots because it is abusive but others want to ban the Rebels because it honors. Now I am really confused.
oh well BAN THEM ALL. Who needs mascots anyway. Go NCAA but finish the job!!!!
Talk about derogatory....'"Hoosier" was a term of contempt and opprobrium common in the upland South and used to denote a rustic, a bumpkin, a countryman, a roughneck, a hick or an awkward, uncouth or unskilled fellow.
No, it's an accurate and benevolent depiction of my ancestors.
Is this letter for real?
How did this college president evade the castration procedure mandatory for such a position of responsibility?
It's a fairly accurate description of my mom.
Yes I know ;)
Too bad tough guy Jeb couldn't have used his bully pulpit to "blast" Judge Greer, but hey, sports are way more important than someones life.
Looks like a bad edit job.
Iowa is short for Ioway, an Indian tribe.
No Iowa State Cyclones or Iowa Hawkeyes. (of course I'm fine with not having any Hawkeyes)
When those two play, you can't lose. But when my Buckeyes get a hold of the Spartans, it's gonna hurt.
I am personally offended that you left off my alma mater, who's mascot was the subject of a ridiculous LA Times editorial related to this subject. It appeared shortly after 9/11. I can't find it right now, but the college replied, telling the Times to get bent.
The letter is real. Check the University of North Dakota Website, it is posted there.
My home team! The Native American kids up in Greeley have made a fortune off of those T-shirts.