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Old Feb 16th 2007, 6:11 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Angry Bye-bye Chief Illini

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?sec...00000000000000

Quote:
Last dance for Chief Illiniwek
University of Illinois will drop mascot
By Stacey Baca

February 16, 2007 - After 81 years, the University of Illinois will drop its American Indian mascot, Chief Illiniwek. The final performance will be at the last men's basketball home game Wednesday.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed. I liked the chief. I like the tradition. It's part of not only Illinois athletics but the university. It's a symbol. But at the same time I understand how difficult this decision was," said Coach Weber.
The chief triggered an emotional stand-off. Native American groups and others complained for years that it was a demeaning representation of their culture. There were others, however, who believe the chief honors Native Americans.
The debate sparked protests, and, eventually, in 2005 the NCAA determined that Illiniwek was offensive and barred the university from hosting postseason events. On Thursday, the NCAA sent the university a letter saying that the school would no longer be banned from hosting postseason events if it drops the chief. The university has agreed to do so.

Joseph B. White, the university's president issued a written statement that the decision "is for the good of our student-athletes and our university. It is time to come together and move on to the next chapter in the history of this distinguished institution."

There was a last-ditch court effort to save the chief Friday. Two students who now portray the chief - Dan Maloney and Logan Ponce - filed an injunction to stop the university's plan. It was denied.

"We really thought the two students, Dan and Logan, would be favored in this decision. It's a big disappointment for us," said Howard Wakefield, member of Honor the Chief.

Steve Raquel, a former Chief Illiniwek, hopes the end of the chief will develop into something new.

"While we're sad, we're hopeful that they will bring a closure, a respectful closure to the tradition and also be open to what a new tradition could look like," said Raquel.

The university will still be able to use the name Illini and Fighting Illini. But the chief is gone after Wednesday's game. At this point it's unclear if the university will replace Chief Illiniwek with a different mascot.
This ticks me off! If I was Indian it wouldn't bother me. It's to honor them not to make fun of them. I have no idea what the new mascot could be! Anyone have any ideas?
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