I have not spoke about my beloved Illini yet on this blog, but with the recent news about the Chief, I figured it was time to start. While this does not fit “snugly” into the rest of what I do on this site, I have had trouble finding good blogs about the Illini. So, here we are.
In case you had not heard, the NCAA has finally said, “No more!” The rallying cry against the Chief has dated back to my first year as an undergraduate (1994), and I’m sure even before that time. Negative Chief press has always been a self-serving, political issue that only helps to make NCAA, school, and government officials look good. Since it refused to die, it was almost inevitable this day was going to come. It is too bad that a respectful school symbol is going into retirement because of someone’s political agenda. With all of the other college athletic problems that have popped up over the years (rape charges, recruiting violations, etc.), it makes me sick that the NCAA made such a definitive stance against something that is really not that big of a deal. University of Illinois students, athletes, and alumni have always treated Chief Illiniwek with the utmost respect and honor. Unfortunately, backing the Chief seems to have been a losing battle from the start. I only hope that the University and its supporters can move on.