AUGUST 5, 2005 - Posted at 12:58 p.m. CDT
INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA has banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments but will not prohibit them otherwise.
The NCAA's Executive Committee decided this week the organization does not have the authority to bar Indian mascots by individual schools.
Committee chairman Walter Harrison says nicknames or mascots deemed "hostile or abusive" would not be allowed by teams on their uniforms or other clothing with any NCAA tournament after February 1.
At least 18 schools, including Arkansas State University, have mascots the NCAA would deem "hostile or abusive." That list also includes Forida State's Seminole and Illinois' Illini. The full list of schools has not been released, but ASU uses Indians as the school's nickname for athletic teams. ASU's mascot is usually an Indian Family, which includes a native American chief, as well as an Indian brave and princess. ASU also has a non-Indian spirit character, which is a muppet-like character called Red.
Not all schools with Indian-related nicknames would be on the NCAA's ban list.
Among the schools that have changed nicknames in recent years...St. John's from Redmen to Red Storm, Marquette from Warriors to Golden Eagles, and Southeast Missouri State from Indians to Red Hawks.