INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Executive Committee Thursday evening approved the process by which colleges and universities subject to restrictions on the use of Native American mascots, names and imagery at NCAA championships will be reviewed.
Reviews will be directed to Bernard Franklin, NCAA senior vice-president for governance and membership, who will chair an NCAA staff committee designated by the Executive Committee. This staff review committee will consider all of the facts related to each institution’s appeal and is expected to start on the first review early next week.
The staff review committee will decide if an institution should remain subject to the policy and the staff’s decisions may be reviewed by the NCAA’s Executive Committee.
“This is a complex issue and the circumstances surrounding each institution’s use of Native American mascots and imagery is different,” Franklin said. “Each review will be considered on the unique aspects and circumstances as it relates to the specific use and practice at that college or university.”
One primary factor that will be considered in the review is if documentation exists that a “namesake” tribe has formally approved of the use of the mascot, name and imagery by the institution.
“It is vitally important that we maintain a balance between the interests of a particular Native American tribe and the NCAA’s responsibility to ensure an atmosphere of respect and sensitivity for all who attend and participate in our championships,” said NCAA President Myles Brand. “We recognize that there are many points of view associated with this issue and we also know that some Native American groups support the use of mascots and imagery and some do not; that is why we will pay particular attention to special circumstances associated with each institution.”