March 5, 2014
Netanyahu's inaction to Obama's provocations sends powerful message
Kerry, after apparent criticism by Schumer, seeks to allay skepticism on diplomacy
How to ruin a perfectly good kid in 10 simple steps
2014 Oscars played it safe, but was faith lost in the shuffle?
Apple joins Hobby Lobby in touting corporate values beyond profit
March 3, 2014
Alina Dain Sharon: In the Hebrew calendar, a leap year has extra month, not day
Latest Obama appointment to prove Prez set on emasculating so-called Israel Lobby
Jewish World Review
Dec. 17, 2009
/ 30 Kislev 5770
The Politically Correct and Altercationists Anonymous
I am rather sorry that Myles Brand has passed on to his
reward. Brand is the fellow who, as president of Indiana University,
gained enormous respect among liberals for ruining the basketball
program of that basketball-loving university in that basketball-loving
state. He fired basketball coach Bob Knight, one of the sport's greatest
coaches, for a minor altercation that was an obvious setup. Knight had
donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the institution and overseen
an athletic program that insisted on academic seriousness from its
players, as well as competitiveness. Under Knight, IU won three NCAA
championships and 11 conference championships. The basketball program
has yet to recover, and I very much doubt that its players match the
academic records of Knight's teams.
Admittedly, the hot-tempered Knight was controversial. He got into rows
with coaches, journalists, players, referees, spectators actually,
anyone who was available. Yet by the time Brand fired him, Knight had
taken heed of those who admonished him to manage his temper better and
was a much more irenic citizen. Call him a recovering altercationist.
Perhaps Knight had enrolled in Altercationists Anonymous. His forced
departure ignited angry student-body demonstrations, disrupting the
university and causing Brand to seek police protection.
A couple of years later, Brand became president of the NCAA, where he
created still more feuding. Under his leadership, the NCAA attempted to
ban the use of American Indian names as school nicknames or mascots. The
ensuing wrangling continues to this day. By edict of the NCAA Executive
Committee, NCAA-sanctioned championships were not to be held on campuses
whose mascots or nicknames derived from some aspect of American Indian
heritage. Thus, William & Mary should not be known as the Indians and
settled for the nickname the Tribe. Arkansas State should not be known
as the Indians and changed its nickname to Red Wolves People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals be damned. The University of Illinois' logo
until recently showed the stern countenance of an Indian chieftain in
full headdress, representing its nickname, the Fighting Illini the
Illini being a local Indian tribe. Somehow the university was allowed to
keep the nickname, but it had to cashier the handsome logo for a large
orange "I" that looks like an industrial caution sign.
Now American Indians in the great state of North Dakota have stood up
for good sense and respect for their tradition. Since the NCAA's
fussiness began, members of the Spirit Lake tribe of the Sioux Nation
have resisted attempts at the University of North Dakota to expurgate
its nickname, the Fighting Sioux. I wish the argumentative Brand were
around to observe the spectacle and possibly to contemplate the
nonsensical debate his meddling has caused, not only at the University
of North Dakota but also at the aforementioned universities and at a
dozen other colleges.
"When you hear them announce the name at the start of a hockey game (UND
has an enthusiasm for hockey not unlike IU's for basketball), it gives
you goose bumps," Frank Black Cloud not surprisingly, a Sioux told
The New York Times. "They are putting us up on a pinnacle." Well, of
course they are. Why would a university or, for that matter, a sports
team adopt as a nickname or a mascot something that was not inspiring?
The politically correct fussbudgets and various malcontents insist that
these Indian remembrances are hostile references or somehow insulting to
Indians. Actually, as anyone with any sense knows, they are
acknowledgments of the tribes' dignity and original inhabitancy of the
land. Extirpate their names and it is just another extirpation of their
history. Doing so is what one might expect from Americans who hate the
Indians, and there was a time when many Americans did. Adopting
references to them is a way to honor them. Black Cloud is right.
There are many underappreciated motivations in history. As mentioned in
this column some months ago, one is boredom. Certainly another is
quarrelsomeness. Brand and many like him claim to high-mindedness, but
au fond they are quarrelsome and enjoy stirring
things up. Brand from time to time explained his actions as motivated by
a love of learning, but I have reviewed his record, and though he lived
much of his life in academe, there is no evidence he loved learning or
was in any way learned. The two controversies I have discussed here are
not even very intelligent.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.
© 2008, Creators Syndicate