The decision to change your Will is not something that one does without considerable soul-searching. Immediately I want to assure my family that my action will not impact their inheritance one bit, but it is directly related to bequests I have made to my alma mater, the University of Illinois. This is assuming there is any money remaining when President Obama completes redistributing wealth, and absorbing my hard earned portfolio.
Way back on April 5, 2008 I commenced my F. Roberts World blog with the first one titled “Sportsmanship is Dead”, and that was when the thought process about changing my Will began. Some twenty years ago in consultation with my attorney, I decided to make a sizeable contribution to the General Fund of the University of Illinois upon my death. Since that time two specific situations occurred that led me to changing my mind, and totally withdrawing my bequest.
First, as covered in my inaugural blog, I remain infuriated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s decision to force the University of Illinois to drop their mascot, Chief Iliniwek. At that time I was, and remain opposed to grossly over-paid President Miles Brand’s arbitrary hypocritical decision that the Chief was a derogatory racial figure. Brand demanded that many teams change their long established mascots. Some schools like Florida State elected to buy off the problem with money, and thus they continue to have an Indian mascot and team name. While I am very sympathetic with President Brand’s current battle with pancreatic cancer, I continue to feel that his actions were really none of the NCAA’s business.
It remains my opinion that the NCAA has more important fish to fry, and it bowed to unjustified pressures brought forward by two under-worked, over-paid, radical, tenured professors at Illinois. The NCAA should get its own house in order before it tells other institutions how to function. I also feel that the Illinois Trustees gave in to unwarranted pressures from the NCAA when repeated polls taken by the Champaign News-Gazette, and the Chicago Tribune reported that 70% of the thousands of respondents supported the retention of The Chief. The University spent millions of public dollars studying this issue, and they took the easy way out and destroyed a time honored institution of admiration in everything The Chief represented.
Anyone who ever witnessed The Chief dance at half-time at an Illinois home football or basketball game knows that The Chief represented nothing but honor to the traditions of native Illinois Indians. To suggest that Chief Illiniwek was a racially insensitive symbol is nothing short of absurd.
Your Commander’s roots run very deep as far as the University of Illinois goes because my Father graduated back in 1918, I graduated in 1956, and my son in 1979. I continue to love the Fighting Illini teams, and especially The Chief, but I cannot support the lily-livered administration.
As the son of Genevieve Margaret Finnegan Kalthoff I am a 50% proud Irishman. What is the difference between Chief Illiniwek’s half-time dance and the actions of Notre Dame’s Leprechaun running around frantically throughout entire games? However, the NCAA never considered touching Notre Dame. I believe that the NCAA’s actions are both arbitrary and hypocritical. I can see the NCAA’s actions encouraging the ACLU to consider all team mascots as offensive to somebody. It is not too far a stretch to see the Illini called the Big Block I or Notre Dame renamed the Dancing Irish Lace.
Secondly and more importantly is the fact that the University of Illinois continues to employ unrepentant admitted terrorist William Ayers as an Education Professor on the University of Illinois-Chicago campus. This act alone is more than proper justification for no longer supporting my alma mater financially. William Ayers should not be receiving public dollars when he continues to state “I wish I did more when we bombed public buildings”. Do you want William Ayers teaching your children?
So, if my old University has repeatedly forsaken their principals of right over wrong, and desires to have terrorists on their staff, they are not getting my hard earned dollars.