Finding the University of Utah's ''Utes'' nickname, along with the nicknames of 17 other colleges, to be ''hostile or abusive,'' the NCAA today banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments.
The NCAA's executive committee decided this week the organization did not have the authority to bar Indian mascots by individual schools, committee chairman Walter Harrison said Friday, but by preventing those teams from participating in its playoffs, it effectively is forcing the names to be abandoned nationwide.
The postseason ban begins Feb. 1, 2006. Said Harrison, the University of Hanford's president: ''As a national association, we believe that mascots, nicknames or images deemed hostile or abusive in terms of race, ethnicity or national origin should not be visible at the championship events that we control.''
In addition to the University of Utah, the list includes:
--Alcorn State University (Braves)
--Central Michigan University (Chippewas)
--Catawba College (Indians)
--Florida State University (Seminoles)
--Midwestern State University (Indians)
--University of Utah (Utes)
--Indiana University-Pennsylvania (Indians)
--Carthage College (Redmen)
--Bradley University (Braves)
--Arkansas State University (Indians)
--Chowan College (Braves)
--University of Illinois-Champaign (Illini)
--University of Louisiana-Monroe (Indians)
--McMurry University (Indians)
--Mississippi College (Choctaws)
--Newberry College (Indians)
--University of North Dakota (Fighting Sioux)
--Southeastern Oklahoma State University (Savages)
In November of 2004, the NCAA asked 33 schools were asked to submit self evaluations to the NCAA National Office to determine the extent, if any, of the use of Native American imagery or references on their campuses. Specific aspects of the self evaluations centered on three NCAA Constitution principles that reference cultural diversity and gender equity; the principle of sportsmanship and ethical conduct; and the principle of nondiscrimination.
''The NCAA objects to institutions using racial/ethnic/national origin references in their intercollegiate athletics programs,'' said NCAA President Myles Brand.
''Several institutions have made changes that adhere to the core values of the NCAA Constitution pertaining to cultural diversity, ethical sportsmanship and nondiscrimination,'' Brand said. ''We applaud that, and we will continue to monitor these institutions and others. All institutions are encouraged to promote these core values and take proactive steps at every NCAA event through institutional event management to enhance the integrity of intercollegiate athletics related to these issues.''
Schools will have an opportunity to appeal, the NCAA said.