February 15, 2007

Chief protected by law?

From newsblogs.chicagotribune.com:

Is Illiniwek academic freedom?Maloney and Ponce allege that being forced to abandon the Chief would violate their freedom of speech and academic freedom.

The students portraying Chief Illiniwek have a funded scholarship and receive class credit, according to Smith.

He pointed out that, just like at any university, the Marching Illini are a music ensemble. The class is a rehearsal. And the pregame and halftime shows at athletic events represent an exhibition of the course content, like a test in academic-type classes, Smith said.


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
It matters not, if the removal of 'Little Red' at the University of Oklahoma stands as a precedent. That was an 'office' held by the 'mascot' which had official university recognition. When it was dissolved, then 'Little Red' was no more. No longer would there be a scholarship and no university credit toward studies, and no physical existence any longer in university life. If it can be so easily ended at the University of Oklahoma, then 'Chief Illiniwek' also can be ended at the University of Illinois just as easily.
'Course, they are in the Big Ten, and OU was in the Big 8 (at the time things ended), so what it means is that it must be ended now, or the precedent set at OU becomes meaningless. The question becomes, why has not AIM attacked the 'Chief' the same as they attacked 'Little Red'? Maybe it is this: how many Native peoples are there in Illinois? There are 35 tribes in Oklahoma. How many are there in Illinois? That may be the first clue...
All Best
Russ Bates

Publia said...

I blogged about Chief Illiniwek today, too. Seems that the NCAA is right up there with repressive regimes in denying freedom and speech and freedom of expression.

The Local Crank said...

"eems that the NCAA is right up there with repressive regimes in denying freedom and speech and freedom of expression."

Say what? The NCAA is NOT the government and nobody has a constitutional right to play in bowl games. People can say or display whatever small-minded, bigoted offensive moronic stereotypical thing that happens to hop into their little heads. And I would fight for their right to do so. But universities who wish to be part of the NCAA must abide by its rules. If you work for McDonalds, do you think you have the constitutional right to wear a Burger King t-shirt to work?

Rob said...

Local Crank is correct. The NCAA sanctions aren't a free-speech issue. If a university doesn't want to abide by the NCAA's rules, it's free to opt out of the NCAA's post-season tournaments.