The Public Square

Tim Schreiber on Boycotting the NCAA


I am Tim Schreiber an alumnus of UIUC and I live in Champaign.

Attention, Chief Illiniwek supporters! The recent ruling by the NCAA against the use of Native American mascots provides an excellent opportunity for you to show your true dedication to Native American causes. Tell that fascist organization that you will NOT compete in any NCAA events, or against teams that are part of the NCAA, until they get rid of this ridiculous ruling and allow you to honor Native Americans in your own way. I admit that boycotting the NCAA will be a major blow to Illini athletics, but principled stands are rarely easy. Perhaps you could schedule games against local high school teams until the NCAA comes to its senses.

And while you're taking a principled stand in defense of The Chief, why don't you boycott all the University of Illinois academic departments that have come out with public statements against the use of The Chief, since they, too, clearly don't understand what you're trying to accomplish. I know it will be difficult to run a world-class major research institution without classes from the Anthropology, English, Spanish, Library Science, Educational Psychology, or History departments (to name but a few), but sometimes we all have to make sacrifices for what we believe in.

And let's not forgot all the university-sponsored organizations that have requested that we retire The Chief, too. I mean, really, who are the Native American House, the Black Faculty & Academic Professionals Alliance, or the Faculty Senate on Equal Opportunity to tell you how The Chief undermines race relations?

I know from the multitude of Chief t-shirts and bumper stickers that I see around town that this issue transcends mere athletics, academics, or national reputation. Chief Supporters, you are obviously willing to sacrifice it all in your dedication to Native American causes. It's a real shame that the NCAA and the rest of the academic world don't see it that way.