August 23, 2005 - by
NCAA Removes Seminoles From Banned Symbols List

Aug. 23, 2005

Tallahassee, Fla. –
Statement by NCAA Senior Vice-President for Governance and Membership Bernard Franklin on Florida State University Review

“The NCAA staff review committee has removed Florida State University from the list of colleges and universities subject to restrictions on the use of Native American mascots, names and imagery at NCAA championships.

“The NCAA Executive Committee continues to believe the stereotyping of Native Americans is wrong. However, in its review of the particular circumstances regarding Florida State, the staff review committee noted the unique relationship between the university and the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a significant factor. The NCAA recognizes the many different points of view on this matter, particularly within the Native American community. The decision of a namesake sovereign tribe, regarding when and how its name and imagery can be used, must be respected even when others may not agree.

“The NCAA position on the use of Native American mascots, names and imagery has not changed, and the NCAA remains committed to ensuring an atmosphere of respect and sensitivity for all who participate in and attend our championships. This decision applies to the unique relationship Florida State University has with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Requests for reviews from other institutions will be handled on a case-by-case basis.”

Statement from Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell on
Today’s NCAA Ruling:

I was pleased to be informed today by the National College Athletic Association of its decision to accept Florida State University’s use of the Seminole name, related symbols and imagery. We understand this
decision means that as long as the university has the support of our “namesake” tribe, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, our display of the Seminole name and related symbols on student-athletes’ uniforms will
be permanently accepted in NCAA national and regional championship competitions.

We also understand that this acceptance applies to the uniforms of Florida State University band members, cheerleaders or dance-team members and “performance” paraphernalia they might use at NCAA national and regional championship competitions or other NCAA- sponsored events.

And finally, it is our understanding that the NCAAs amended policy now allows for the use of Native American names and symbols by those universities that have received the express support of their
“namesake” tribes. I am happy that the will of these namesake tribes now will be respected.

For nearly 60 years, this university has proudly identified itself with the indomitable spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and we look forward to continuing our close relationship with this courageous tribe for many years to come.

Florida State University now is prepared to begin its academic year and put this issue behind us once and for all.

I would like to extend my personal thanks to the members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida for their continued support, as well as their recent public efforts to create better understanding of our relationship. I also appreciate the good communication from members of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma on this matter, and look forward to continuing our positive relationship with them.

Finally, we are thankful for the overwhelming support of our FSU family, including students, alumni and friends, government and civic leaders and the public at large.


“This is an outcome one would expect reasonable people to reach. This is the right thing to do in this instance and I am happy this was the end result of our appeal being heard. I now hope that other universities will benefit in similar fashion from the appeal we submitted.”

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