History of the Chippewas
The Central Michigan Chippewas are the intercollegiate athletic teams representing Central Michigan University (CMU), located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The school fields sixteen men's and women's intercollegiate teams that compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level.
CMU was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1950 to 1970. The school's athletics programs are affiliated with the NCAA and compete in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The women's lacrosse team formerly competed in the Southern Conference until the MAC began sponsoring that sport in 2020. The colors are maroon and gold, and the school and its students and alumni are referred to as Chippewas, sometimes shortened to Chips.
College Sports Established
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Central Michigan University
1971 - Present / NCAA Division I
1971 - Present / MAC Conference
Chippewas - The Chippewas nickname was put forth by assistant football coach Lawrence "Doc" Sweeney in 1942 to replace the then-current Bearcats. He argued that Bearcats not only had nothing to do with the school and the area but was also a nearly extinct beast that none of the students had ever seen or heard of. He further argued that not only was Chippewa the name of the school's yearbook, but the Chippewa River flows through Mount Pleasant, and the "American Indian image" would provide "... unlimited opportunities for pageantry and showmanship for the band as well as athletic teams." The new name was passed by a vote of the student body.
When negative reaction to racial stereotypes grew in the 1970s and 1980s, it was recommended by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission that the Chippewas name be dropped. Instead, in 1989 the university instituted several measures to enhance the name, including introducing special educational programs developed in conjunction with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council, headquartered on the local Isabella Indian Reservation; orientation programs were set up to familiarize CMU students and staff with traditional Native American culture; the school's Native American logos were eliminated along with tom-tom drumbeats by the pep bands and other activities that would reflect racial stereotypes.
Men's Basketball 0
Women's Basketball 0
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