Monday, January 7, 2008

Chief Logo Shenannigans

I didn't catch Saturday's News-Gazette, but Illinipundit did, and he caught the story on the Chief logo's creator suing the university to get the rights back from the Board of Trustees. He doesn't have a legal leg to stand on, but what's interesting about the article is actually what it says on the UofI's plans for the logo:

[U]niversity officials and lawyers have been working with Collegiate Licensing Company to add the Chief logo to the company's College Vault program. College Vault licenses vintage collegiate logos, emblems and other images.

"We have not made final decisions on specific products or volume going forward, but we will continue to offer merchandise in select apparel, non-apparel and headwear categories," Kaler said.


Kaufman also said such marketing would violate the UI Board of Trustees March 13, 2007, resolution calling for the elimination of the Chief and it would violate the NCAA policy prohibiting schools with "hostile or abusive" imagery from hosting postseason competitions or displaying the nicknames, logos or mascots at those events.


If the university signs an agreement with College Vault to license the Chief Illiniwek merchandise, the Chief items would be sold online only. Such use is in accordance with NCAA and university policies, Kaler said.

Calls left for NCAA officials were not immediately returned Friday.

Last February, after UI Board Chairman Lawrence Eppley announced the end of Chief Illiniwek, the NCAA issued a release stating that if the university no longer used Chief Illiniwek and related American Indian imagery in athletics, the university would be in full compliance with the NCAA's policy.
What everyone is waiting on is for the NCAA to respond and say whether or not UofI's continued sale of Chief merchandise online really is in accordance with NCAA policy. If it is, I'd be disappointed in the NCAA. How is allowing online sales substantially different from allowing sales in meatspace? We all know that the die-hard Chief fans will flock to the online site to buy the most-likely overpriced "vintage" apparel just to get their fix of racist clothing, and since the University - and the NCAA! - would be sponsoring it, the University would still be fostering a Hostile and Abusive atmosphere. My own view is that, given enough time without a white guy jumping around in a costume down on the field, the student body itself will get over the loss of its mascot - but allowing a source of Chief memorabilia to remain will, just like the Marching Illini's continued use of the Three-in-One, contribute to and extend the rather pathetic hanging-on to the Chief that his supporters currently exhibit.


Anonymous said...

I would like to know, it what way, that Chief Illiniwek is hostile or abusive? It is a symbol rather than a mascot. A person did not see the chief parading around during the game but only at halftime with a dance. How is the seminoles "mascot" not hostile when he rides out on a horse and then throws a spear into the ground? Along with their "chop". Chief Illiniwek, whether they allow the school to sell it or not, will be seen on shirts, cars, and hats for many years. It is part of the school and always will be!!

The Squire said...

The Chief creates a hostile and abusive environment because it is very racially insensitive, and shows to minorities that this campus approves and condones racist attitudes and depictions.

The seminoles are exempt because the tribe so depicted has no problems with it. The tribe descended from the Illini does have problems with the Chief.

The Chief is a blight upon this university, and I will be happy when he is permanently relegated to the history pages, in company with the campus KKK chapter.