October 15, 2007
In 2005, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) declared that the use of a Native American mascot was “hostile and abusive” and thus inappropriate. Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County), which used an Indian mascot starting in 1931, was identified as one of eighteen schools that needed to change. The school began use of a cartoon character called Jumpin’ Joe in 1937. In the 1990s, the symbol was modified to Runnin’ Joe, shown on this 1982 football game ticket. In 2003, such cartoon characters were completely dropped from use by the university. In 2008, under threats of being banned from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion competition, the school became one of the last in the nation to retire the Indian mascot and adopted the name the Red Wolves.