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updated: 5/8/2013 8:49 AM

Chief group wants to resurrect mascot at U of I

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  • At one of his last apperances Logan Ponce performs as Chief Illiniwek s at halftime during a football game against Purdue in November 2006.

      At one of his last apperances Logan Ponce performs as Chief Illiniwek s at halftime during a football game against Purdue in November 2006.
    Photo by Phil Schaefer / Special to the Daily Herald

 
Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN -- A group of past Chief Illiniweks at the University of Illinois wants to bring back the mascot.

But university Chancellor Phyllis Wise says she won't back the idea. And the leader of the tribe that would need to agree says he can't support it, either.

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The Council of Chiefs has asked the university to let the mascot return to two campus events a year. Council President Steve Raquel told The News-Gazette that the Peoria tribe in Oklahoma had been willing to talk. Tribe members descended from American Indians who lived in Illinois.

But Peoria Chief John Froman says the tribe won't back the plan if the university doesn't.

The university stopped using the mascot in 2007 under NCAA pressure. Some schools use similar mascots with tribal approval.

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