|Former Illinois Mascot
Although the University's mascot is the
"Fighting Illini," Indian groups branded the
mascot as a misappropriation of
indigenous cultural figures and rituals.
The NCAA piled on in 2005 and labeled the
mascot as "hostile or abusive." The
NCAA went on the warpath against the
school and banned Illinois from hosting
postseason events as long as Chief
Illiniwek continued to be employed. The
Chief's final performance was at a
February 21, 2007 basketball game. As a
sign of mourning their mascot, fans
donned black shirts during the second half
of the game.