Linebacker Shayne Skov of Stanford, which changed its nickname from Indians… (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images )
Should NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and team owner Daniel Snyder agree with Native American activists that the logo and nickname of the Washington Redskins is racist and needs to be changed, they would be following a well-worn path.
Since 1970, more than 600 colleges and high schools -- as well as the state of Oregon and the Los Angeles Unified School District -- have done away with Native American nicknames and mascots.
Stanford: From Indians to Cardinal in 1972.
Dartmouth: From Indians to Big Green in 1974.
Siena: From Indians to Saints in 1988.
St. John's (N.Y.): Redman to Red Storm in 1994 (See what they did there?).
Marquette: Warriors to Golden Eagles in 1994.
Miami of Ohio: Redskins to RedHawks in 1997 (Taking a page out of the subtle St. John's playbook).
Seattle University: Chieftains to Redhawks in 2000.
Stonehill College: Chieftains to Skyhawks in 2005 (The reference is not to a bird but rather a homage to a World War I plane, which once landed on the ground that now makes up the campus.).
Louisiana Monroe: Indians to Warhawks in 2006 (The nickname might not sound like much of an improvement but the school — which has a water skiing team — adopted the name in honor of a World War II air squadron which flew Curtiss P-40 Warhawks in battle).
Arkansas State: Indians to Red Wolves (2008).
North Dakota: The Fighting Sioux until 2012, the school's athletic teams are currently nameless, forbidden by state law from adopting a new nickname before 2015.
On the other hand, Utah (Utes), Central Michigan (Chippewas), Florida State (Seminoles), Illinois (Fighting Illini) and Mississippi College (Choctaws) all fought successfully to retain nicknames the NCAA had determined were "hostile and offensive." The schools cited support from neighboring tribes in their appeals.
L.A. HIGH SCHOOLS
In 1997, the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District passed a resolution banning the use of Native American mascots and nicknames. The ban withstood a federal court challenge, forcing University High (Warriors to Wildcats), Gardena High (Mohicans to Panthers), Birmingham High (Braves to Patriots) and Wilmington Middle School (Warriors to Jaguars) to change nicknames. However, the California Racial Mascots Act, which would have eliminated Native American mascots and nicknames statewide, was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.