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Chief Illiniwek relegated to sidelines for games

Fans won't see the Chief Illiniwek mascot when the University of Illinois basketball team heads to the Big Ten tournament this week.

Controversy over the use of the mascot has relegated the "Chief" to the sidelines. The student who portrays him gets to "dance" only at home games and at other specially designated sites -- but not at the Big Ten or the Final Four, if the team makes it there.

That wasn't always the case. In 1989, when UI went to the Final Four, the mascot was treated as a hero. Most non-Indian students and alumni support the mascot but Indian students and activists say it is offensive.

Get the Story:
Chief topic of discord (The Chicago Tribune 3/11)

Relevant Links:
Chief Illiniwek, University of Illinois -
Anti-Chief Site -

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