<
>

Bradley appealing to keep Braves name

PEORIA, Ill. -- Bradley University has appealed the NCAA's
ruling banning its Braves nickname in postseason play beginning
next year.

A committee of 15 presidents and chancellors from NCAA Division
II colleges will consider Bradley's appeal, then make a
recommendation to the NCAA's 19-member Executive Committee for a
final decision, NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said.

Williams said there is no timetable for a ruling. Bradley
spokeswoman Kathy Fuller said the university does not expect a
decision until early next year.

The 6,100-student school was one of 18 colleges deemed by the
NCAA in August to have nicknames, mascots or logos that are
"hostile or abusive" to American Indians. Schools are not
required to drop the imagery, but are barred from using it during
postseason play beginning Feb. 1 and cannot host postseason events.

"The university continues to dispute the characterization of
the Braves name as being hostile or abusive," Fuller said.

In its decision two weeks ago, the NCAA staff review committee
commended Bradley for dropping its American Indian mascot and logos
about a decade ago, but said the private university could have sent
a clear signal of respect by also retiring its nearly 70-year-old
nickname.

Bradley has argued that the nickname now symbolizes attributes
of bravery such as courage and honor. The school also contends the
NCAA was inconsistent when it applied the ban, allowing eight
schools to keep the nickname warriors because they have dropped
mascots and logos, like Bradley.

So far, the committee has approved three schools' bids to be
removed from the NCAA's list and rejected two, including Bradley's.