Last week Charles Whitcomb, chair of the NCAA's Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee, said his group would look into banning the likes of Illinois's Chief Illiniwek (left) and Florida State's Chief Osceola from championship events. Here's a look at some current controversies, racial and otherwise:
North Dakota Fighting Sioux
The nickname is opposed by some faculty and Native American activists but backed by alumnus Ralph Engelstad, a Las Vegas casino owner who was once fined $1.5 million by the Nevada State Gaming Control Board for throwing parties celebrating Hitler's birthday. Engelstad says he'll withdraw his $100 million pledge for a new hockey arena at North Dakota if the nickname is changed.
Illinois Fighting Illini
Opponents, including some members of the Illinois faculty and student body, recently won a federal court decision that allows them to warn recruits they'll be playing for a school whose mascot wears a Sioux headdress and whoops while dancing barefoot during sporting events. Supporters, including alumnus and movie critic Roger Ebert, have argued that the Chief honors the legacy of the Illini.
San Diego State Aztecs
Responding to pressure from Native American and Mexican-American groups on campus, a university task force last week recommended that Monty Montezuma, a loinclothed warrior who spits fire and totes a spear, be replaced with a more historically accurate version of Montezuma, the Aztec ruler. In a vote last October, 87% of the student body supported the current mascot.
Oregon State Beavers
Smiling Benny Beaver is being phased out in favor of scowling "Angry Beaver," whom school officials say captures the aggressiveness of Oregon State's teams. Partisans of the cuddly Benny say his dyspeptic replacement scares children.