University of Illinois to drop Indian mascot unless ...

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The University of Illinois was planning today to announce that it was ending the use of Chief Illiniwek — a student dressed as an Indian who performs at athletic events — but may be forced to change its plans because of a lawsuit, The Chicago Tribune reported. The mascot’s use has been controversial for years, with American Indian groups calling its use offensive and athletic boosters calling the American Indians and their supporters politically correct or overly sensitive. But Illinois officials, after long defending the mascot, may change their stance under pressure from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Tribune reported that two students who play the chief filed the suit to block the action, and that the university is awaiting the results of a hearing today before deciding whether to go ahead and end use of the mascot.

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