Scrolling Headlines:

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

UMass football fall camp day four: Veteran offensive line boasts chemistry, looks to improve run blocking -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A colorful UMass homecoming -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Potential nighttime and weekend parking fee at UMass tabled -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

UMass football fall camp day three: Ex-quarterbacks A.J. Doyle, Andrew Verboys continue transitions to new positions -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

UMass football fall camp day two: Defensive secondary hopes experience, added depth brings greater consistency -

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

UMass football kicks off day one of fall camp Monday -

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cyr: The time to start talking football is back again -

Monday, August 17, 2015

UMass football adds series with USF, Maine to future schedules -

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Controversy has surrounded Minuteman before

The presently resolved controversy surrounding the University of Massachusetts Minuteman is not the first time the mascot has come under fire.

Ten years ago, a petition started by a student group called the American Freedom Association and rallies organized by its president, Martin Jones, sparked conflict that eventually included students, Chancellor David Scott and Massachusetts Governor William Weld. The debate drew national news coverage from the Associated Press, USA Today and radio talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh.

Jones said in a rally on Oct. 13, 1993, that the Minuteman was racist and sexist because it portrays a “white man with a gun.” He believed it was a symbol for oppression and a representation of local militiamen slaughtering Native Americans in Amherst hundreds of years before. The Collegian reported the petition also called for increased ALANA recruitment, increased financial aid for economically disadvantaged students and the renaming of the campus library after W.E.B. DuBois.

Scott said he would listen to the students’ concerns initially, drawing attention and criticism in the Boston media.

Weld released a statement on Oct. 15, calling the attack on the Minuteman an example of “political correctness run amok,” according to The Collegian. Weld told the Boston Herald it was fine to question authority, but the Minuteman issue was “ridiculous.” A group calling itself the “University of Massachusetts Alumni and Students to Save the Minutemen” also rallied and released a statement in support of the mascot.

Scott also issued a release Oct. 15, saying his willingness to discuss issues was misconstrued as him not valuing the historical significance of the Minuteman. He attempted to formally end debate on the issue, saying that because of the misunderstandings and misperceptions in the debate, it would be virtually impossible to discuss the idea in a productive way.

Rallies both for and against keeping the Minuteman continued into November. At a pro-Minuteman rally on Oct. 27, The Collegian reported that student Dan Flynn called Jones a “Pied Piper of every fool on this campus.” The Collegian ran at least eight news articles and numerous opinion pieces on the issue between Oct. 13 and the end of the month.

The University of Massachusetts has had at least three mascots over the course of its history. The school was known as the Mass. Aggies until 1948, when the school changed its identity from the Massachusetts Agricultural College to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1972, the school changed its name to the Minutemen because of the potentially racial nature of the Redmen nickname after a group of Native Americans called the term derogatory.

Between 1938 and 1948, the school used numerous unofficial nicknames, including the Derbymen and the Statesmen, according to Collegian archives.

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