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:: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 ::

More Thoughts On Eppley's Reply

The Chicago Tribune is also covering the story (even though I can't find the text of Eppley's actual letter). They have some additional exerpts that the News-Gazette doesn't, one of which I find interesting.
The board of trustees has approved a resolution to seek ``consensus conclusion'' to the issue, but Eppley said the NCAA's action threatens to derail that process.

``The likely and ironic consequence of the NCAA's provocative rhetoric will be a giant step backward in the debate, re-engagement of harsh and disingenuous rhetoric and the loss of common ground to the armies of divisiveness,'' Eppley wrote.
As I said when Eppley made a similar dipshit remark in response to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools's report, all this talk about "consensus conclusions" and whatnot is complete and total bullshit. If you'll recall from last year:
The report noted that dialogue on the Chief controversy has increased since the commission's last report, but said that nothing had been done to solve the problem, creating a polarized environment...

Because the BOT is the only group that can make any official decision on the Chief, the report focused its criticism toward it and said a lack of action on the issue shows that the BOT is not concerned about the issue's divisive and debilitating effects.

"In the absence of decisive action, the board is, in effect, saying that it prefers to face the consequences of eroding damage to the effectiveness, governance and reputation of the institution than the consequences of retiring the Chief," the report stated.
The Chief is divisive and detrimental to the campus, and there cannot be a consensus when two views as polarized as the pro- and anti-Chief camps are involved. One group simply has to win out, and because of the political costs involved only the anti-Chief side can ever have a permanent win.

Former student trustee Nate Allen, throughout his term, would often remark (I'm paraphrasing, so forgive me any inaccuracies) to the board that the Chief was a vastly devisive issue, and that one look at a crowd of pro-Chief supporters was enough to demonstrate that race was involved somehow. Such a split is definitely one we can do without in our academic environment here on campus. The trustees, safe in their jobs and homes elsewhere in the state, aren't exposed to this. They can't understand how disruptive it can be. Although their hemming and hawing is all intended to keep the political donors happy, it has a deleterious effect on campus, and we can do without it. The North Central Association has noticed this, and so, it seems, has the NCAA.

The NCAA has made its decision, prompted by politics and pressure to do the right thing, and it looks like its not going to change its collecive mind anytime soon. The Chief and the name "Fighting Illini" will apparently have to go. This really isn't up for arguement anymore. The anti-Chief crowd has won this battle, though the war may not yet be done. With the Chief seemingly committed to his long-waiting grave, I can only hope that the political wind-blowing and student rhetoric formerly expended on him can instead be spent on more profitable things, such as getting the state assembly to properly fund its flagship university.

:: The Squire 12:41 AM :: email this post :: ::


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