(AP) The NCAA, the governing body of college sports, has extended their ban on Native American mascots at their basketball tournament to include the state of Utah.
"Utah is named for the Ute indian tribe, and therefore is discriminatory" said Arthur Bubbles from NCAA offices in Kansas City. "Even though the tribe has endorsed usage of the mascot name Utes, they have never stated that they ever approved the naming of the state. In fact, it is our understanding that the original name of the state was Deseret and that it was named after a type of honey bee. If they had stayed with that, they could have had a mascot similar to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets."
University Spokesman Glen Doorstop was visibly upset in his reply. "So, if we were named the Salt Lake City Utes, it would be okay to take our mascot to the tourney because the tribe approved that, but because we are the Utah Utes, we can't? Where is the logic and reasoning in that? Are they trying to force us to change the name of the state?"
Doorstop pointed out that several states are named after Native American words. "Texas, for example, is from Tejas, a word that means friendship. Why aren't they going after Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and UTEP?"
Dr. Bubble replied to this charge by saying that they were intending to investigate the derivation of all state names, but were only aware that Utah was named directly for a tribe. "If we discover any other states, we'll go after them to."
This reporter pointed out that Delaware came immediately to mind as being named after a tribe, but Bubble dismissed this by saying "Yeah, but what decent ports program ever came out of Delaware?"
Other NCAA recommendations for name changes now extend beyond Native American tribal names. Dr. Bubbles also cited the case of the reigning football champion USC Trojans and runner-up Oklahoma Sooners. "We are also attempting not to offend our Greek friends by using the name Trojans. As it is wrong to call a team after Indian warriors, it is also wrong to name them after ancient warriors. This ban would include other schools, of course, like the Michigan State Spartans."
"The Sooners, of course, are named after a bunch of men who raced for land due to an illegal land grab from the local tribes. Therefore, the Sooners are named for a group of people who oppressed the Native Americans, and that is just plain wrong."
He added that the NCAA is considering extending their ban to exclude all Cowboy mascots for the same reason. This would effect Wyoming and Oklahoma State. Other questionable mascots are the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame ("Stereotyping," says Bubble) and the UNLV Running Rebels ("Most people think of the Confederacy and their oppression of Blacks when they think of Rebels," expalined Bubble).
Another mascot that the NCAA was considering banning was the Miners from U.T.E.P.. "Have you seen their football team play? They've only had four winning seasons in the past forty years. Their play was such an insult to the hard working Miners that we considered making them change their mascot to some meek, innocent animal that reflected their winning output. Only two things saved them: their rich basketball tradition and historic 1966 championship under Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins and the way that MIke Price is turning around the football program. The real miners are no longer complaining about the sports Miners."
Dr. Bubble also pointed out that, like the NBA, the NCAA is going to frown on weapons toating mascots. "The Washington Bullets became the Washington Wizards. We are proud of New Mexico State for taking the gun out of the hands of their mascot, Pistol Pete, and making him into Lasso Pete. We now expect the rest of the schools to get rid of the guns, the bows, the tomahawks, the spears, the swords, and any other weapons that their mascots carry onto the field."
When asked if there were any other mascot changes the NCAA was considering, Dr. Bubble replied that there was only one. "We think that we've got to so something about the Georgetown Hoyas. First, though, we've got to figure out just what a "Hoya" is supposed to be."