Ah yes, the Seminoles. Complete with the Tomahawk Chop (long before the Atlanta Braves imported it as their own), and an undergrad decked out in traditional Seminole Indian garb riding a horse and throwing a burning spear onto the midfield logo just before the start of each home football game. Some folks are offended by the name as being racist, but the school has the support of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which has maintained a good relationship with the university (though there were rumors of their endorsement coming in exchange for financial considerations).
Today, those offended by the name were able to carry the day, as the NCAA has made it exceedingly difficult for colleges sports teams to keep using Indian names or mascots:
Nicknames or mascots deemed "hostile or abusive" would not be allowed on team uniforms or other clothing beginning with any NCAA tournament after Feb. 1.I was not at all surprised to learn that Florida State plans to challenge this decision, so I guess this one should be filed under "to be continued."
. . .
The NCAA plans to ban schools using Indian nicknames from hosting postseason events.
Having been a fan since childhood, I guess I'm a bit biased, but I don't see why it's offensive. The name used is tribal in origin, rather than something that has an historically negative connotation such as Redskins. Plus, a significant segment of the Seminole people has worked with the university in an effort to respectfully represent the Seminole culture (after I wrote this, a google search showed me this article by a Native American that supports my distinction more eloquently than I do).
One question I have is why NCAA doesn't deem the nickname Fighting Irish, complete with a leprachaun for a mascot, similarly offensive. On its face the disparate treatment seems hypocritical, but perhaps there's a logical reason to differentiate.