Given its team name, it’s a good thingtheWashingtonRedskinsdon’t play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), or else they’d also be losing their feathers this season.
WetravelsouthtothehistoricVirginia campus of the College of Mary,establishedbyroyal charterin1693,wheretheNCAAhas upheld on appeal its earlier ruling that the feathers attached to William & Mary’s logo are unacceptable.
“The feathers, combined with the ‘Tribe’nicknameusedbytheschool’s sportsteams,constitutea‘hostileand abusive’ affront to Native American groups, according to the NCAA,” reports Ben Kennedy in the William & Mary Alumni Magazine.
All of which confuses college president Gene Nichol, among many others.
“Present NCAA determinations of mascot policy — what is allowed andwhatisforbidden—areneither comprehensible, nor capable of being sensibly defended,” the Marypresidenthadwritten in his appeal.
“An interpretation that penalizes Marywhile embracingthedepictionofabraveon horseback, in war paint, plunging a flamingspearintotheturfatmidfield, tothedelightof85,000chanting,tomahawkingfans,is,atbest,enigmatic.”
Mr. Nichol was referring to the Florida State Seminoles. Still, as Mr. Kennedypointsout,theNCAAisallowing the Seminoles to keep their nickname, war paint, spears and tomahawks. Why? BecausetheSeminoletribehasinformed the NCAA that it likes the team’s name, as well as the spear ritual performed at each home game. Maryhasbeentolditmust pluckitsfeathersfromitslogobythe end of the 2007 athletic year.