Billboard supports UI Chief Illiniwek mascot - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Billboard supports UI Chief Illiniwek mascot

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A billboard supporting University of Illinois' controversial former mascot has resurfaced after a decade-long hiatus.

The News-Gazette reports that attorney John Gadau resurrected the billboard supporting the Chief Illiniwek mascot last month. It says "The Chief, yesterday, today, forever." Gadau says he can use the space for a year.

Gadau first posted the billboard in 2007, when the university stopped using the mascot under NCAA pressure as many called the portrayal offensive to American Indians. A 2013 push to reinvent the Chief ultimately didn't garner support.

Two university trustees recently visited the Peoria Tribe in Oklahoma to discuss how to move past the mascot issue.

Campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler says Chancellor Robert Jones is committed to finding "a path forward together," but declined to comment further on the billboard.

Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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