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The Seminole Tribe of Florida

The Florida Seminoles are a Native American Tribe that is currently comprised of 2,000 American Indians living on six various reservations throughout the state of Florida. You can visit any of the six Seminole reservations in Florida at any of the following cities: Hollywood, Big Cypress, Brighton, Immokalee, Ft. Pierce and Tampa.
It’s been a long and arduous comeback from near extinction for the Seminole tribe of Florida. In fact, at one point in time the Florida Seminole population dwindled down to a mere 300 people. However, despite the odds, the Florida Seminoles fought valiantly to keep their culture, traditions and people alive by evading capture from the U.S. Army during the 19th century. It was this fearless and bold spirit that helped the Florida Seminoles to survive during rough times. And this same unyielding spirit earned them the right to call themselves the “unconquered people”.

Florida State University

Florida State University is one of the oldest and most respected colleges in the State of Florida. It was established in 1851 as an institution of higher learning for male students only. However, the university soon became coeducational, which allowed both men and women to attend. Then, in 1905 reformation of the state of Florida’s education system resulted in the establishment of The University of Florida in Gainesville. UF then became strictly a men’s college and Florida State was converted into a women’s school called the Florida Female College for Women. With this new transformation, Florida State became fully accredited in 1915 and grew to be the third largest women’s school in the U.S. during the 1930s.
After World War II another big change came about in the education system of Florida. With numerous men returning from war, Florida’s state government saw the need to return Florida State University back to a co-educational college. This integration of genders in higher learning at Florida State was made official on May 15, 1947. Today Florida State thrives as a highly regarded research university, with international recognition. It is also home to one of the most popular and successful football teams in the nation, known as the Florida State Seminoles.

Athletics and the Florida State Seminoles

It was the student body itself that decided that Florida State University would be called the FSU Seminoles. Faculty and students wished to capture the spirit of the “unconquered people” at Florida State University. Today the name Seminoles is well known and revered throughout the nation in the arena of collegiate sports. Some of the top athletes in the U.S. are proud to call themselves alumni of Florida State University. In addition to producing great college competitors, Florida State sporting events are also characterized by their devoted fans, garnet and gold colors, and loud Seminole war chants. One of the biggest and most successful assets to the Seminole’s athletics department is its Football team. The Florida State University football team has won several national championships and has consistently remained in the top rankings of college football teams across the nation. Tomahawk chops and the loud rhythmic beat of drums, along with chief Osceola and his horse renegade, all represent the spirit of the FSU Seminoles. Being named after the “unconquered people” and having such a loved mascot helps to fuel Seminole pride at Florida State University.

NCCAA Rulings on Native American Nicknames In College Sports

Recent controversy has been stirred up over the use of Native American nicknames in College Sports. Various organizations and individuals who support Native Americans have contested that the use of American Indian names and mascots at the university level is both disrespectful and wrong. As a result of this dispute, the NCAA was forced to make a ruling on whether or not colleges may or may not continue the use Native American names, mascots and logos at their universities. The recent ruling has concluded that colleges are urged to change their names, but they do not have. However, the NCAA has ruled that no schools having Native American names and symbols may host championship events. This is a great blow to the Florida State Seminole football team who is almost always in contention for the NCAA Championship. Despite this ruling, the Florida State Seminoles refuses to change its name and FSU’s President threatens that he will sue the NCAA for their decision. When asked, the Seminole Tribe of Florida says that it supports FSU’s nickname. In fact, Max Osceola, a Tribal Councilman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida states that “it is an honor and a reflection of the university to represent the spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.”

Seminole History

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