University of Illinois leader says no new mascot pick yet

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A top University of Illinois official says a new campus committee won’t be choosing a replacement for the school’s former Chief Illiniwek mascot.

The new Commission on Native Imagery: Healing and Reconciliation met for the first time Thursday on the Urbana-Champaign campus. It was established following the September release of a university report suggesting adoption of a new sports mascot and traditions to replace the Chief Illiniwek portrayal that was dropped in 2007 after complaints from American Indians that it was offensive.

The News-Gazette reports Chancellor Robert Jones says the commission could recommend a process for picking a mascot, but would also look to “honor and partner” with Native American tribes.

The commission includes former Illinois athletes, trustees, Chief Illiniwek portrayers and Native Americans.