Sunday, December 12, 2004


None of that nasty "winner" stuff:

A Richmond man says his son's hockey team faces permanent suspension because it is too good. Lucas Mangotich, 10, plays on the Seafair Atom C Eagles, a team the league suspended because it says the nine- and 10-year-olds are too much for the competition. "Not only will our team be suspended, but all three teams at the Atom level may be suspended," said Larry Mangotich, who has been in discussions with league officials in an effort to to save his son's season. "The boys have been locked out and their play suspended indefinitely with threats that their entire season may be ended," he said.

The tempest arose when league officials reviewed scoring summaries and decided the Eagles were flying too high. They told the team to unload one of their stars, or quit playing. When the team couldn't come up with a compromise by a Dec. 1 deadline, it was suspended.

Seafair Minor Hockey Association president Len Cuthbert has been trying to reach a deal acceptable to both the Eagles and the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association, which has decreed that all C-level teams must be balanced. "I'll be one happy camper if this is settled," Mr. Cuthbert said. "They don't want one team to be strong, and one team to be weak. The spirit of the rule is so every team in every organization wins and loses about the same number of games."



Not everyone on campus is excited about the University of Oregon men's basketball team playing No. 1-ranked Illinois on Saturday. Student and faculty groups have met with UO officials in recent weeks to call for cancellation of the game because of Illinois' continued use of the Chief Illiniwek mascot, which some American Indians and others view as derogatory or racist..... The Faculty and Staff of Color Coalition, a campus group formed in 2002, has also weighed in, calling the university's decision to proceed with the games "a dishonor and insult" to American Indians at the UO. The most ethical choice is to withdraw from the Illinois games, said coalition co-director Lynn Fujiwara.

Dan Williams, UO vice president for administration, said the university signed contracts to play the two Illinois games believing that the mascot issue would be resolved by now. As expected, the University of Illinois board of trustees took up the issue in June - but voted 9-1 against a motion to abolish the chief mascot. In the face of strong alumni support, the board instead voted to pursue a "consensus approach" to the symbol's future.

UI and UO officials have already decided that the Chief Illiniwek mascot - a white student dressed in Plains Indian headdress and garb - won't appear at next year's game in Portland. But he is scheduled to appear at Saturday's contest in Chicago, said UI Athletic Director Kent Brown.

Williams said the UO did not request that the mascot not appear this weekend. "I'm not sure it's our place to tell a home school what to do and not do," he said. "We would not want them telling us what to do." Williams said a policy relating to offensive mascots would likely extend beyond American Indian imagery. What if someone objected to the Trojans, or if animal rights activists were to protest the Huskies, he asked. "We have to define what an offensive mascot is," he said.

Greg Vincent, UO vice provost for institutional equity and diversity, is expected to help craft the policy. He said academia's concerns about team mascots is not a case of political correctness run amok. "Symbols are very powerful, and if symbols are appropriated by a university that claims to be diverse and inclusive, then the symbols need to be as inclusive as possible," he said. Vincent cited the University of Mississippi's decision to ban the Confederate flag from athletic events as an example of eradicating hurtful images.

In Illinois, the chief mascot's appearance at home contests is limited to a 4 1/2 -minute halftime show that is respectful of American Indian traditions and culminates in a mass singing of the Illinois alma mater, said Roger Huddleston, a former UI student and activist in a pro-mascot group called Honor the Chief. The chief mascot controversy has roiled for years, with no end in sight. The UI board of trustees in September passed a resolution to preserve and celebrate the state's American Indian heritage - a move that critics quickly labeled an effort to legitimize Chief Illiniwek.

An accreditation agency report in August, meanwhile, said the university's failure to resolve the debate is evidence of failed leadership. And an appeals court in June upheld a ruling that the university violated the free speech rights of anti-mascot professors when it said they couldn't try to dissuade prospective student-athletes from attending UI without first getting permission from the athletic director.

Despite all the turmoil, Huddleston said he believes the chief will stay because most students, alums and other Illinois residents embrace him as a revered symbol. Most polls on the subject, he said, show that even most American Indians are supportive of such mascots. A survey released this fall by the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey found that 90 percent of American Indians surveyed did not find the Washington Redskins football team's name to be offensive. The survey was conducted between October 2003 and September 2004 and had a margin of error of 2 percent. More than 65,000 people were polled, including 768 who identified themselves as Native American or Indian.

More here. (Via Clown Ops)

No comments: