The University of Illinois retired their mascot Chief Illiniwek in 2007 after facing pressure and sanctions from the NCAA, but one high school in Illinois says it plans on bringing back the mascot for its basketball game.
The Twitter account for the Tuscola (Ill.) School District announced that Chief Illiniwek will perform at halftime on Jan. 9 when the Tuscola Warriors play the Sullivan Redskins:
The Twitter account also sent out this promotional photo:
How is this happening? Why is this happening? We're not exactly sure. If you know more, let us know.
Update (4:17 p.m.): We received a few emails that all said the university has no affiliation with this Chief Illiniwek. One of the responses:
Essentially, while the U of I severed all ties with the mascot, a 'fraternity of chiefs' of sorts has been 'upholding tradition' by continuing to pass the costume on. Last year the current non-sanctioned chief danced at another local high school as a favor to a fraternity brother. The Chief has no ties to the University at all, and they hate this stuff since people still associate it as a University symbol.
Update (8:35 p.m.):
H/t to Derek