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FSU trustees approve fight for 'Seminoles' mascot

Florida State University trustees voted on Wednesday to appeal the school's inclusion in the NCAA's new mascot policy and to go to court if necessary.

The school says its close relationship with the Seminole Tribe protects the "Seminoles" mascot. NCAA President Myles Brand said FSU could seek a special rule to recognize the tribe's support. Some leaders of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, however, opposes the mascot, a view that trustee Robert McFarlain discarded.

"They got run out of here by, who was it, Andrew Jackson? The Trail of Tears. The real Seminoles stayed here," he said of the Seminole Nation, The Miami Herald reported. He also said he "care less about what the Seminoles in Oklahoma think."

But Ken Chambers, the outgoing principal chief of the Seminole Nation, said the tribe doesn't oppose the name. "As far as the mascot itself, it is not degrading to us. It is not humiliating," he told The Palm Beach Post. He said the council voted 18-2 against a resolution in opposition to the "Seminoles." Chambers leaves office September 3 and is being replaced by former Oklahoma state senator Enoch Kelly Haney.

As part of the appeal process, FSU will have to go through the NCAA's Executive Committee Subcommittee on Gender and Diversity Issues and then to the Executive Committee, which made the final decision on the mascot policy last week.

Aiding FSU in the legal fight will be attorney Barry Richard, who led George W. Bush's legal challenge to the 2000 presidential recount in Florida.

Get the Story:
Noles ready to fight for name (The Miami Herald 8/11)
Oklahoma Seminoles back FSU on mascot (The Palm Beach Post 8/11)
FSU fights to keep mascot (The Talahassee Democrat 8/11)
FSU leaders vow to fight restriction on Indian names, imagery (The Miami Herald 8/11)
NCAA will hear FSU war chant (The Pensacola News-Journal 8/11)
FSU trustees agree to fight to keep Seminole mascot (Florida Today 8/11)
Seminoles' Defense Builds (The Tampa Tribune 8/11)
Brand offers a way out for Seminoles (The Indianpolis Star 8/11)
FSU will appeal mascot ruling (AP 8/11)

NCAA Announcement:
NCAA Executive Committee Issues Guidelines for Use of Native American Mascots at Championship Events (August 5, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Florida State University -
FSU Seminoles -
Seminole Tribe of Florida -
NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee -

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media -

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