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Bureaucrats and rules

The NCAA, an organization that just moved to the state of Indiana, voted last week to "prohibit teams with nicknames, symbols or mascots considered 'hostile or abusive'" - i.e. referring to Native Americans in a manner some Native Americans don't like - from displaying such images in NCAA postseason events. They did not clarify whether they judged Florida State's Chief Osceola a "hostile" symbol, but this story suggests a court fight is in order if they do make that claim. Folks, can you imagine listening to the drudgery of that testimony? "Osceola's hostile!" "No he's not!" And so on. Ugh.

The quirk in the decision is that the NCAA did not ban the mascots from bowl games and the like, just in post-season tournaments that the NCAA itself manages. In other words, Illinois is free to pack its bags and play in the NIT, and as long as the BCS doesn't join the NCAA's party, FSU football will escape unscathed. Why the quirk? My hunch is that the NCAA recognizes that it has a chance to successfully defend the restriction on symbols displayed in it's own events. Their case gets much weaker in regular season competition. Clearly, however, the camels' nose is now under the tent - a shrewd move by the NCAA, although why they are on this particular warpath escapes me. One would think that schools could be relied on in good faith to do the right thing here, without adding more pages to the NCAA's already interminable book of infractions.

Across the pond, bureaucrats in England's Home Office are at their "you can't do that without my permission" best. The EPL is a league teeming with foreigners, and is an attractive spectacle because of that fact. Yet the talented Chilean Mark Gonzalez was denied a permit required for him to move from Spain to join Liverpool because his national team is not good enough. Get that? Neither do I.

Gotta love those rules!

Update: Is the term Hoosier (of Indiana University) offensive? Here's some information from an IU librarian: '"Hoosier" was a term of contempt and opprobrium common in the upland South and used to denote a rustic, a bumpkin, a countryman, a roughneck, a hick or an awkward, uncouth or unskilled fellow. Although the word's derogatory meaning has faded, it can still be heard in its original sense, albeit less frequently than its cousins "Cracker" and "Redneck."'