The University of Iowa’s baseball game against Bradley Tuesday was canceled — not because of the weather — but because Bradley’s mascot is a Brave. The Hawkeye baseball coach scheduled a game against the Bradley, apparently unaware of the policy. The game was canceled after the policy was brought to his attention. University spokesman Steve Parrott, says the rule was instituted in 1994 by the Board in Control of athletics — a group of faculty, staff and students.He says the policy was created because “the University just believes that differences should be respected and valued” and he says committee came to the conclusion after some extensive debate “that nobody’s cultural heritage should be demeaned or trivialized, and they felt that by using Native American mascots, that was happening.” Parrott says the U-of-I’s Native American Student Association also pushed for the policy. The policy includes one exclusion for the University of Illinois. He says because they’re in the Big Ten, the University can’t exclude them. But he says as part of the policy, Chief Illiniwek, the Illinois mascot, does not come to Iowa City.He says the baseball cancellation seems to be a rare occurrence. He says this is the first time it’s come up in quite some time, which he says was obviously and oversight. Under the policy, Iowa could not host another non-conference team with a Native American mascot. Parrott says that would exclude a national football power like the Florida State Seminoles from visiting Kinnick Stadium.He says he thinks that would probably be the case. He says he doesn’t know under what circumstances they’d make an exception, he says the policy as written doesn’t seem to do that. Parrott was asked if the policy might exclude some good teams, such as Bradley from playing Iowa.He says it’s “unfortunate, but we had this group that came to the conclusion that this was the appropriate policy” and this is one of the effects. The State Board of Regents says Iowa is the only state-supported school that has such a policy. Iowa State University did ban the playing of what’s know as the “Ham’s Beer Song” at basketball games in the 1990s, as there were complaints the song was based on an Indian chant and offensive to Native Americans.
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