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Thursday, August 25, 2005
Louisiana-Monroe will ask to stay as Indians

Associated Press

MONROE, La. -- Louisiana-Monroe will ask the NCAA to allow them to remain the Indians.

The school will appeal the NCAA's recent ruling banning the use of Indian names and imagery, athletic director Bobby Staub said.

"We received information from the NCAA about the appeals process and that's what we were waiting on," Staub said. "Now we're collecting that data and we're going back to our committee that was involved in our mascot self study to begin with. They are formulating their plan to submit an appeal."

ULM is one of 18 schools using mascots that the NCAA deemed "hostile or abusive." Florida State on Tuesday won its appeal and will be allowed to use Seminoles as its mascot in any postseason appearances.

Approval from American Indian tribes would be a primary factor in deciding appeals from schools that want to use Indian nicknames and mascots in postseason play, according to the NCAA.

"Obviously there are numerous Indian tribes in Louisiana," Staub said Wednesday. "We're going to be in contact with those organizations to get -- hopefully -- a letter of affirmation. That will be a part of our appeal. We're starting that process right now."

The Florida State ruling is a good sign, said ULM fan Charlie Miller. He pointed out former ULM player Perry Beaver and former head coach James L. Malone -- both men with Indian heritage -- as part of the school's claim to the usage.

"The tradition goes back a long way," Miller said. "We don't want to change our name. A lot of people are still irritated because we're ULM instead of Northeast." The school was once named Northeast Louisiana University.

This spring the school retired the cartoonish mascot Chief Brave Spirit from appearing at ULM events. References to the campus as "The Reservation" were also stopped.