Catawba College's Position on NCAA Ruling
August 19, 2005
We at Catawba College take very seriously the recent announcement and actions of the NCAA with regard to Native American nicknames and mascots. We disagree strongly with the categorization of Catawba College’s use of “Indians” as “hostile and abusive.” Over the past several years, upon advice and counsel given us by our own alumni who are Native Americans, we have taken steps to assure the appropriate use of the College’s symbols and logos. We discontinued the College mascot and removed all renderings of Native Americans. These were not representations of Catawba Indians and culture.
During the past year, an Athletic Task Force was formed to review all aspects of athletics at the College including the absence of a mascot and the NCAA concerns over the continued use of “Indians.” The Task Force recommended that we undertake a process which would lead to the adoption of a new mascot to fill the void currently existing in Catawba College community life. The Task Force also recommended that we continue to review the use of “Indians” in light of what were believed to be impending actions of the NCAA. Those rulings by the NCAA have now been received and Catawba College will initiate a process for a comprehensive review of our use of the term “Indians” and the identification and selection of a mascot for the College community. A primary concern for us is the opportunity for our student athletes to participate in NCAA competitions without impediments.
We are aware of legal actions being taken by several Colleges and Universities opposing the recent rulings of the NCAA. We have chosen not to file an appeal or enter litigation at the current time but will deliberate these matters carefully and thoroughly over the next few months. Our Board of Trustees will consider the NCAA rulings and Catawba College’s response at the October meeting.
Robert E. Knott
President – Catawba College