Ute remains symbol of school spirit

After originally ruling that the Utes’ nickname was racially insensitive and had to be changed, the NCAA had a change of heart, and the U was ultimately allowed to continue using the Ute logo.

On August 5, the NCAA issued a list of schools that had “hostile and abusive racial/ethnic/national origin mascots, nicknames or imagery.”

If the schools did not comply with the ruling and make changes, they would be barred from playing or hosting national tournaments.

The U community and many members of the Ute tribe were shocked by the announcement.

A number of Ute tribal leaders approved of the nickname use and found it to be honorary rather than abusive.

U administrators called the relationship between the U and the Ute tribe a “longstanding, cordial and mutually beneficial relationship.”

Many believed that the Ute tribal leaders should have made the final decision on whether the name was offensive or not.

After about a month of controversy and outrage, University of Utah President Michael Young submitted a letter of formal appeal asking the NCAA to allow the U to continue using the traditional nickname. The Northern Ute Indian Tribal Business Committee backed the petition.

Upon reviewing the case, the NCAA Executive Committee removed the U from its list of offending schools, allowing the nickname to remain.

The following Friday, at the first football game of the season, Ute fans and players celebrated the triumph of their mascot and nickname.

Young and Ute tribal leaders agreed that they will continue to work together in the future to maintain a positive relationship.