FSU Promises Court Fight

Florida State University is vowing to fight the NCAA on a ruling that prohibits the use of Native American nicknames and mascots during postseason play.

While the National Collegiate Athletic Association says it’s sending a message to teams about what it calls “abusive or hostile” images, FSU is standing by its team name.

It’s a popular part of Florida State University football games, Osceola revs up the crowd, but this is exactly what the National Collegiate Athletic Association wants to discourage. The organization, which regulates every sport other than football, has banned the use of mascots like this during postseason play. It says this portrayal of American Indians is “hostile and abusive.”

FSU students we talked with don’t see it that way.

Erica Ben-Aaron says, “I don’t think its offensive. I would be honored if I had a football team named after my tribe that was so looked up to.”

Another student, Bradley Grambling, doesn’t like the plan.

“It’s tradition. It’s really dumb.

Florida State University has used the Seminole name since 1947. With the support of students, alumnae, and even the Florida Seminole tribe, school officials are vowing the fight the ban.

T. K. Wetherell is FSU’s president. He says, “We will go to court. We were told make sure the Seminole tribe was happy and we did that. This caught us off guard.”

While the Seminole tribe of Florida is backing FSU, other Seminole tribes do find the use of Native Americans as mascots offensive. Wetherell says the ban discriminates against certain universities and violates free speech. He says it’s a tradition he’s not about to change.

The ban is set to go into effect in February of next year.