Thursday, August 18, 2005

Take a stand

The Tribune's Mike Downey questioned today, why our state leaders have been silent on the NCAA's decision to ban the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments. Considering that the moniker of the state's primary public university is the "Fighting Illini", isn't it reasonable to believe that there will be a comment one way or another from either Blagojevich, Durbin or Obama?

Here's what others are saying:

With over 20,000 USA Today readers voting, 77% said that the ban is "Ridiculous. Political correctness gone too far."

Representative Tom Feeney (R-FL) whose district includes the home of the Florida State Seminoles, said the NCAA's ruling is "political correctness gone amuck."

In a letter to the USA Today, University of Illinois Board Chairman Lawrence C. Eppley wrote, "The Executive Committee's uninformed use of inflammatory rhetoric does not create a 'teachable moment'. Instead, it retards meaningful debate on an important issue, especially in the communities of the 18 institutions 'branded' by the NCAA as politically incorrect."

NCAA Myles Brand gave a half-hearted endorsement of the decision saying, "While I agree with and support the Executive Committee's decision, neither I nor any member of the NCAA staff had a vote."

So, with a decision that will have ripple effects for those who both follow and pay no attention to Illinois college basketball program, the people of Illinois deserve to hear a position articulated by our governor and two U.S. Senators. Please ignore the polls and take a stand.


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