May 10, 2004

Nothing like style over substance

From this weekend's National Post:

The University of Iowa probably would say no if it received a lucrative offer to play Florida State in a made-for-TV football game.

The reason: Florida State is nicknamed the Seminoles. Iowa has a policy, approved by its athletic department governing board in 1994, that prevents the scheduling of non-conference games with schools that have American Indian mascots. . . .

The policy had prompted little discussion in recent years until Iowa dropped a baseball game scheduled earlier this week against Bradley, nicknamed the Braves.

[Full Story]

But note the exceptions to the rule:

Illinois, nicknamed the Fighting Illini, is exempt because of Big Ten Conference obligations. . . .

The policy also exempts post-season or tournament games "where we don't have control over the scheduling" . .  .

So for ethical reasons they won't play any team with an Indian nickname, unless it's a game with a Big Ten team or the game counts or it's a post-season game (which really counts) or a tournament game (because if someone else schedules it, well, you gotta).

Could there be a better example of "style over substance" than a politically-correct ban on sports games that is only selectively applied, and in such a way as to not inconvenience anyone's shot at a trophy?

Presumably, the University of Iowa also exempts itself from the ban, since the state of Iowa is named after, you guessed it, an Indian tribe . . .