Team-Name Controversies

Robert Siegel and Michele Norris note some schools involved in various controversies over their athletic teams' mascot.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Marquette is not the only school facing a brouhaha over its nickname or its mascot. A short but far from complete list includes these.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. Unlike Marquette, their teams are still called the Warriors. In deference to criticism, though, the school changed its mascot in 2003 from an Indian warrior to a Roman soldier dubbed Mack the Warrior.

SIEGEL: Another school in search of a new icon for their teams is Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Formerly the Mountaineers, the old school mascot was an elderly bearded hillbilly in overhauls. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the administration decided this image did not adequately reflect the university's diversity.

NORRIS: Mount Saint Mary's is now engaged in an election for a new mascot. The choices? A bird of prey, a mountain lion or a wolf.

SIEGEL: Northeastern University in Boston has also decided that it needed a mascot with a little more bite. The Huskies has been represented by Mr. and Mrs. Husky. Students voted to replace them with Paws, a younger fiercer canine.

NORRIS: Athletic teams at San Diego State University have long been known as the Aztecs, but the team mascot has been given a makeover. Monty Montezuma has become Aztec Warrior, and his costume is apparently more historically authentic than his predecessor's. It was designed according to guidelines established by the university's Aztec Identity Task Force.

SIEGEL: Not all universities are searching for a new identity. Teams at the University of North Dakota call themselves the Fighting Sioux. And despite criticism, the school says it is proud of its nickname and its logo, which is a profile of an Indian created by Native American artist and UND graduate Benett Brien.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Related NPR Stories

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.