FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2007 file photo, University of Illinois mascot Chief Illiniwek performs for the last time during an Illinois basketball game in Champaign, Ill. A group of past Chief Illiniweks at the university is pitching a plan to bring back the mascot, but university Chancellor Phyllis Wise opposes the plan. The Council of Chiefs has asked the university to let the mascot return to two campus events a year. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — 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.
The Council of Chiefs has asked the university to let the mascot return to two campus events a year. Council President Steve Raquel said 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.