Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Go Tribe!

An e-mail sent to W&M alumni today. Good news:
Dear Friends:

Some months ago, the National Collegiate Athletic Association asked William
and Mary--along with 30 other colleges and universities--to determine
whether the Native American nickname and logo associated with our athletic
program are "hostile and abusive."

This fall, I appointed Provost Geoff Feiss to chair a steering committee
preparing the College's self evaluation. I want to share with you the
committee's work, which has been completed and forwarded to the NCAA. The
entire report and my cover letter can be found at http://www.wm.edu/NCAA.

After careful consideration, the self-evaluation committee, the Board of
Visitors and I find no basis for concluding that the use of the term "Tribe"
violates NCAA standards. On the contrary, the "Tribe" moniker communicates
ennobling sentiments of commitment, shared idealism, community, and common

I'm pleased to tell you that my recent conversations with nearby Virginia
Indian tribes have affirmed their acceptance of the nickname, which
highlights, of course, the historical connection between the College and its
role in educating Native Americans.

Geoff and his colleagues conducted a thorough and thoughtful review. I'm
grateful for their work­--for the input I've received from not a few alumni,
students, and friends of the College­--and, most of all, that our community's
powerful sense of common endeavor indeed deserves the name "Tribe."

Go Tribe. Hark upon the gale.

Gene Nichol
I wonder whether this "self-evaluation" is enough for the NCAA. Something tells me that the NCAA will ultimately allow the evaluation to go only one way. Will W&M fight?