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NCAA Presses for Nickname Change

Bob Dylan, in his classic song from 1965, noted that “the times, they are a-changin’.”

What might also be a-changin’ in the future is the nickname of IUP’s athletic teams. The university is under pressure to adopt a new one.

The NCAA announced in August that member schools refusing to abolish American Indian nicknames and imagery it considers “hostile or abusive” would not be permitted to host NCAA postseason competitions beyond a February 1 deadline. The potential cost to schools that don’t comply, in terms of prestige and economic impact, is considerable.

The NCAA executive committee will rule April 27 on IUP’s second appeal to keep its longstanding nickname (the university eliminated Indian imagery in 1991). Three other schools—Illinois, Bradley, and North Dakota—also have second appeals pending.

Some of the eighteen schools targeted by the NCAA have since changed their nicknames or are in the process of doing so. Three universities that filed appeals were permitted to keep their nicknames because of support from local tribes: Florida State (Seminoles), Utah (Utes), and Central Michigan (Chippewas).

Our Turn

The opening of IUP’s new Center for Turning and Furniture Design in Sprowls Hall was celebrated with a special event called Spring Showcase, which featured presentations by center director Steve Loar, faculty member Chris Weiland, and artist-in-residence Betty Scarpino, shown with graduate student Anne Miller. IUP’s is the first program in the country to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in fine arts with a studio emphasis on both turning and furniture design.