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NCAA Allows 'Seminoles' Nickname

Florida State University Seminoles logo.
AP
The National Collegiate Athletic Association will allow Florida State to use its Seminoles nickname in postseason play, removing the school from a list of colleges with American Indian nicknames that were restricted by an NCAA decision earlier this month.

The NCAA said it was recognizing the relationship Florida State has long enjoyed with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which assists the university with its pageantry and celebration of its culture and supports the school's use of its name.

"The staff review committee noted the unique relationship between the university and the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a significant factor," NCAA senior vice president Bernard Franklin said in a statement released Tuesday. "The decision of a namesake sovereign tribe, regarding when and how its name and imagery can be used, must be respected even when others may not agree."

Florida State President T.K. Wetherell had threatened to sue the NCAA immediately after its Aug. 5 announcement that the school's highly visible nickname, "Seminoles," was defined as "hostile and abusive" by a committee.

"The two things we requested in our appeal were granted," Wetherell said. "I'm ready to play football, start school and have classes begin and all that kind of stuff."

Lee Hinkle, vice president for university relations, said the school e-mailed 250,000 alumni and friends of the NCAA decision.