ASU to Officially Retire Indian Family on Feb. 28

JONESBORO, AR - Arkansas State University's athletic name and mascot, "Indians" and the Indian Family, will be formally retired in a halftime ceremony of the men's basketball game between ASU and Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the ASU Convocation Center.

Although the names and imagery regarding "Indians" will be officially retired, ASU's team names for the 16 NCAA Division 1 sports teams will remain "Indians" until the conclusion of the current school year.

The ceremony will conclude a year-long project centered around directives from the NCAA which declared that educational institutions with Native American nicknames and imagery would not be allowed to use the names or imagery at postseason competition.

The name "Indians" officially became the school's athletic nickname in 1931.  "Indians" is taken from the heritage of the state of Arkansas from the Osage tribe, which made its home in northeast Arkansas before European settlers arrived.

During the 18th century, the Osage were at war with nearly all other tribes of the plains as well as with the woodland tribes.  For that reason, the name evolved from respect for the fighting spirit which dwelled among the Indians of Northern Arkansas.

The school's official athletic mascot, the Indian Family, is a trio of students arrived in authentic Native American wear.  Chief Big Track, named after the legendary chief of the Osage tribe, is the head of the family.  There is also an unnamed princess and brave.