ST. CLOUD (AP) -- The president of St. Cloud State University will urge other presidents in the National Collegiate Athletic Association to take a stand against the use of American Indian nicknames and mascots.
Roy Saigo plans to speak during the NCAA's Division II chief executive officers luncheon in Indianapolis on Sunday. It will be the first of two visits Saigo will make this month to NCAA headquarters.
The NCAA is the sanctioning body for about 1,200 colleges across the country, including St. Cloud State. The luncheon is part of the organization's annual convention.
This weekend, Saigo will speak to Division II presidents during the luncheon's open forum.
"I hope to educate the public, talking about issues sensitive to a group of people," Saigo said. "I'm not here to attack one institution. I'm here to present the facts and happenings."
The University of North Dakota, whose athletic teams play St. Cloud State teams, is probably the school closest to St. Cloud State that uses an American Indian nickname. They are called the Fighting Sioux.
On Jan. 28, Saigo will make a formal presentation to the NCAA's Minority Opportunities and Interests committee.
Last March, Saigo submitted a resolution to the NCAA, asking it to eliminate the use of American Indian monikers by its members. The committee has spent a year studying the issue. Recommendations to the NCAA's executive committee are expected in August.
Saigo, who is still developing material for his presentation, said he has received resolutions from American Indian and civil rights groups supporting his efforts.
"I want the NCAA to take a stand. It's not my initiation. I'm just taking it to another level," Saigo said.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is expected to release a statement on the issue sometime after Wednesday, he said. MnSCU is the largest system of higher education in the state, serving over 300,000 students. It includes seven state universities, including St. Cloud State, and 27 two-year colleges on 53 campuses. It's separate from the University of Minnesota system.
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