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ASU to conduct farewell ceremony
for Indians mascot at Feb. 28 game
Feb. 13, 2008 -- Arkansas State University's athletic
nickname and mascot, “Indians” and the Indian Family, will be officially
retired in a halftime ceremony of the men’s basketball game between ASU
and Louisiana-Monroe Thursday, Feb. 28, at the ASU Convocation Center in
names and imagery regarding "Indians" will be officially retired, ASU’s
team names for the school’s 16 NCAA Division I sports will remain
"Indians" until the conclusion of the current school year.
This event will be a celebration and farewell.
The ceremony will conclude a year-long project centered around
following directives from the National Collegiate Athletic Association
(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.
In conjunction with the formation of the Mascot Selection Steering
Committee, ASU Chancellor Dr. Robert Potts appointed a Mascot Retirement
Committee headed by Richard Carvell, assistant professor of
radio-television and director of broadcasting at ASU, to begin planning
for a retirement ceremony.
“The retirement committee represented all university constituencies and
tried to design a ceremony that will be staged with class and dignity to
reflect favorably upon the university and the action it is taking to
comply with the NCAA policy,” said Carvell. “Former students who
portrayed the Indian Family during their undergraduate years at ASU will
be special guests of the university during the February 28th ceremony.
We think it will be a very moving event that many will remember for some
time to come.”
The name “Indians” officially became the school’s athletic nickname in
1931 following “Aggies” in 1911 (sometimes called “Farmers”), “Gorillas”
in 1925, and then “Warriors” in 1930. “Indians” is taken from the
heritage of the state of Arkansas from the Osage tribe which made its
home in Northern Arkansas before white (or 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 attired 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.
Tipoff for the men’s game is 7:35 p.m. ASU’s women’s team will play the
first game of the doubleheader with ULM at 5:35 p.m.
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