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Team-Name Controversies

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Marquette is not the only school facing a brouhaha over its nickname or its mascot. A short but far from complete list includes these.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. Unlike Marquette, their teams are still called the Warriors. In deference to criticism, though, the school changed its mascot in 2003 from an Indian warrior to a Roman soldier dubbed Mack the Warrior.

SIEGEL: Another school in search of a new icon for their teams is Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Formerly the Mountaineers, the old school mascot was an elderly bearded hillbilly in overhauls. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the administration decided this image did not adequately reflect the university's diversity.

NORRIS: Mount Saint Mary's is now engaged in an election for a new mascot. The choices? A bird of prey, a mountain lion or a wolf.

SIEGEL: Northeastern University in Boston has also decided that it needed a mascot with a little more bite. The Huskies has been represented by Mr. and Mrs. Husky. Students voted to replace them with Paws, a younger fiercer canine.

NORRIS: Athletic teams at San Diego State University have long been known as the Aztecs, but the team mascot has been given a makeover. Monty Montezuma has become Aztec Warrior, and his costume is apparently more historically authentic than his predecessor's. It was designed according to guidelines established by the university's Aztec Identity Task Force.

SIEGEL: Not all universities are searching for a new identity. Teams at the University of North Dakota call themselves the Fighting Sioux. And despite criticism, the school says it is proud of its nickname and its logo, which is a profile of an Indian created by Native American artist and UND graduate Benett Brien. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.
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