In August, the National Collegiate Athletic Association issued a report ruling putting restrictions on tournament appearances by teams that continue to use Native American mascots. That as the perfect opportunity, of course, for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to step in and ask the NCAA to do the same thing to some universities that have animal mascots.
Specifically, PETA requested that the NCAA enact the same sort of sanctions against Jacksonville State and the University of South California — both schools use Gamecocks as their mascot.
PETA’s Dan Shannon was quoted by The Birmingham News as saying,
Our position is that since cockfighting is illegal in 48 states in this country and a felony in South Carolina — you go to jail, period — we don’t think schools should be promoting this illegal act with their mascots. Our problem with Gamecocks is it promotes cockfighting. That’s not only illegal, but tremendously cruel to the animals involved. We’ve been in contact with the presidents of these universities for several years. We’ve exchanged polite letters back and forth, very polite and respectful, but they have chosen not to change their names. With the NCAA decision about Native American nicknames, we hope that might spur them on — no pun intended — to adopt a nickname more respectful to animals.
PETA’s Allison Ezell, who sent a letter to NCAA president Myles Brand, said the group does not object to other animal mascots such as the Oregon Ducks or Baylor Bears which, “highlight the power and beauty in the natural world.”
PETA asks NCAA to ban Gamecocks nickname. Mike Perrin, The Birmingham News, August 12, 2005.
PETA asks USC to change nickname. The State.Com (University of Southern Carolina student newspaper), August 12, 2005.