Plucked feath­ers

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

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.

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