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NCAA’s Ruling on Ute Name

September 2, 2005 — “We are very pleased that the NCAA has recognized our close and mutually respectful relationship with the Ute Tribe and, accordingly, has removed the University of Utah from their list of schools that use Native American names or imagery inappropriately,” stated University President Michael K. Young. “We appreciate their prompt attention to our appeal.”

In a response to the U’s appeal that was filed on Wednesday, the NCAA Executive Committee ruled today that “the University of Utah should be removed from the list of colleges and universities subject to the restrictions on the use of Native American mascots, names and imagery at NCAA championships.”

The University’s letter of appeal was accompanied by a letter and resolution of support from the Northern Ute Indian Tribal Business Committee. “For many years the Ute Tribe and the University have maintained an effective partnership,” stated Maxine Natchees, chairwoman of the Tribal Business Committee in their support documents. “The Tribe, the University, and their members and supporters are proud of the Ute name and the culture it represents. Indeed, the Ute name and culture are the predicates of our State’s name: Utah.”

Young agrees, adding that, “The University has a good, long standing relationship with the Ute Tribe. We value their support and will work closely with the Tribe to ensure that the Ute name continues to be used in an honorable and respectful manner.”