NCAA President Myles Brand in a press release praised several institutions that now "adhere to the core values of the NCAA Constitution pertaining to cultural diversity, ethical sportsmanship and nondiscrimination" by banning references to race, ethnicity or national origin in their nicknames and mascots.
So, the Ute nickname and images of feathers and drums on some team uniforms may be the only sticking points left for the NCAA and its new rule as it relates to the U.
Young, who was on vacation Friday, said in an interview that he will study the NCAA pronouncement to determine what, if anything, the U.'s sports teams need to change.
Wetherell said in his online statement that he intends to pursue all legal avenues to overturn the NCAA's decision.
Young would not speculate on whether the issue would rise to a legal battle with the NCAA.
"These things come out of the blue from time to time from the NCAA this could change," Young said.
Wetherell said the Seminole Tribal Council in June "unequivocally" supported FSU's use of the Seminole name.
Last month, Young said he received approval from the Ute Tribal Council to continue using the Ute name.
"They were very supportive," Young said. "They appreciate the distinction we bring to the name."
Young said the U. does nothing to make fun of or belittle the Ute name no tomahawk chops, no chants or Indian dances.
U. spokeswoman Coralie Alder said the school has been careful with tribal leaders to follow the right procedures in using the Ute name.
"If they were to tell us not to use their name . . . we would look at another option," Alder said.
Last fall, 33 schools were asked by the NCAA to submit self-evaluations to determine the extent, if any, the school uses or makes reference to Native American imagery.
The NCAA lists 18 colleges and universities that continue to use Indian imagery or references, including the U. All of those schools are now subject to the new policy.
Fourteen schools have already removed all references or never had any to Native American culture, according to the NCAA.
The "Utes" and "Redskins" were both nicknames once used by U. athletic teams, according to the school's 2005 football media guide. Utes became the official nickname in 1972, "when college campuses became sensitive to the concerns of tribal members."
The guide goes on to say that the U. uses the Ute name with permission from the Ute Tribal Council. The council has also given the U. permission, according to the media guide, to use the mascot named "Swoop," depicting a red-tailed hawk, a bird indigenous to Utah.
According to Cuch, approximately 3,300 Utes live on two reservations in Utah and at least 500 more live off-reservation in the state.The meaning of the word Ute, the U. guide states, ranges from "high place" and "top of the mountain" to "people of the mountains" and "land of the sun."
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