'Three-in-One' in Kaufman's sights

'Three-in-One' in Kaufman's sights

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URBANA — Eight years after Chief Illiniwek was officially retired, a longtime opponent of the symbol plans to take the issue back to the NCAA after top University of Illinois administrators declined to act Monday.

Stephen Kaufman, professor emeritus, has asked Chancellor Barbara Wilson to stop the playing of the "Three-in-One" show by the Marching Illini that was the official music of Chief Illiniwek. At Monday's annual meeting of the faculty, he said that if Wilson did not take action by day's end, he would go to outside organizations, like the NCAA, AAUP and other state and federal funding and accreditation agencies.

Kaufman also complained about the continued licensing and sales of Chief Illiniwek merchandise by the university.

"We don't need more discussion. We need action, and we need action today," Kaufman said.

Wilson said she did not appreciate an ultimatum, and she would not take action Monday.

"I wish a proclamation from the chancellor would change everything," Wilson said. "But I can't do it by myself."

During Wilson's response, Kaufman got up from his chair and started walking back toward the microphone.

"Please don't come back to the microphone again," Wilson said, adding that she'd continue to talk with Kaufman outside of the meeting.

In an email response to Kaufman's concerns, Wilson said the UI has to offer merchandise for sale to protect the trademark, and the university vigorously defends the trademark when "unlicensed vendors attempt to use iteration of Native American imagery associated with the University of Illinois."

Professor Jay Rosenstein, another longtime Chief opponent, showed Wilson and Killeen picture after picture of Chief shirts found on campus, celebrating everything from intramural teams to Unofficial St. Patrick's Day.

"It doesn't go on forever, but it could and that's the scary part," Rosenstein said in the middle of flipping through pictures of the shirts. The university did not approve those uses.

"I would like nothing better than to put all of this behind us, and that's what I'm going to try to do," Wilson said. "What we have is a vacuum and people are filling that vacuum with a mascot that we retired."

After the meeting, Kaufman said ideally he didn't want to go to outside organizations, but he felt it was necessary to ensure proper enforcement of NCAA and university policy regarding the Chief.

"I've exhausted all avenues within the institution to get this change," he said.

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ForReal wrote on October 27, 2015 at 8:10 am

This Kaufman guy needs to give it up already. His act is getting old. It must be nice to have that kind of time to be able to devote to a "cause" like this. Hey, Stephen. There are starving kids in Africa. There are children and families fleeing war torn countries. There are all kinds of actual problems in the world, and you want to devote your time to arguing about what music the marching band plays at a football game? C'mon, man!

Nice Davis wrote on October 29, 2015 at 12:10 am

Should the people who are fighting to get the old mascot back 10 years after he left move on to better causes too?

IlliniwekMerica wrote on October 27, 2015 at 8:10 am

If Professor Rosenstein wants to see even more chief apparel around campus, then stopping the University from protecting its trademark is the right thing to do. Once the trademark protection goes away, anybody and everybody can make their own apparel with the images and the University will be powerless to stop them. And no matter how hard he and Kaufman try, college students will not be shamed into not wearing the logo.

Getting rid of the Three-in-One would serve no one but Prof. Kaufman. The chief isn't coming back, he and his cohorts made sure of that 8+ years ago.  I think he just likes to hear himself talk. 

champaign61821 wrote on October 27, 2015 at 8:10 am

Dear god...while I generally supported the decision to retire the mascot, Kaufman is just out of control. When does this guy find time to actually do his job?

EdRyan wrote on October 27, 2015 at 10:10 am


Illinirocks wrote on October 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

If Mr. Kaufman is really concerned about the Native Americans, he should spend his time working to help solve many of the real issues they face on the reservations across this country. If the Marching Illini stopped playing the 3 in 1 today there is not one Native American in this country whose life would improve as a result. It is truly a waste of everyones time. 

Lazza C wrote on October 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

Kaufman and Rosenstein are only the most vocal of the perpetually offended totalitarian left which controls the faculty at the U of I, and most large academic insitutions in the US.  They will never stop, not until all opposition to their worldvew is crushed "by any means necessary" (no matter how upopular this worldview sometimes  is among students, Alumni, and taxpayers).  Don't believe me, just look at their writings. Why do we put up with this?

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on October 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

Mr. Kaufman is proving to be quite the petulant piece of work.  He actually believes that the University should ask "how high?" when he tells them to jump.....wow!   I'm always amazed when those whose education in a narrowly-focused specialty begin to think that they're omnipotent on all subject matters.

BruckJr wrote on October 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

It looks like there are about 20 faculty members at this 'annual meeting of the faculty'.  Is it any wonder that these radicals have such a large voice on campus?

Lostinspace wrote on October 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

Yes, with no serious university issues to discuss, no need to attend.  But I think you confuse radicals and misfits.

loopillini wrote on October 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

Wow, this Kaufman dude is a real piece of work. Now he wants to tell us what we can and can not listen to? It's a musical selection  played by a marching band...get over yourself and go away!

Voice of Raisin wrote on October 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

Three in One is a compilation of three pieces composed for the University that was put together in 1926. Chief came in 1927. End of discussion.

jjohnson wrote on October 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

Are these people who complained about "academic freedom" when a prospective faculty member was not hired? They are probably too dense to realize that "academic freedom" is an outgrowth of "Freedom of Speech," which, they might be surprised to know, belongs to everyone -- including people who wear "Chief" shirts.

And that music is bad because it brings back a memory? Give me a break.

Voice of Raisin wrote on October 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

Three in One is a compilation of 3 pieces written for the university, put together and first performed in 1926. Chief came in 1927. End of discussion.

Illiniwek21 wrote on October 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

This man is as ignorant as he is passionate. I seriously wonder how he continues to make these claims. The Three-In-One predates the Chief in every sense of the word. They were only Joined together in 1927. All 3 tunes therein(hence Three-in-One) are published in their own right. This stupid Political Correctness is grasphing at straws to try and claim guilt by association. This is exactly the reason so many alumns and current students have lost faith in this institution.

EdRyan wrote on October 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

Oh you've done it now.  You used the term "Political Correctness" in your comment, a term that is no longer "PC", refer to the Jim Dey column recently posted.  You should pack your bags and prepare to be taken to the nearest re-education camp.

PortlandIllini wrote on October 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

You got to wonder why the University worries about protecting the intellectual property of a symbol that they can no  longer use.    As another commenter wrote:  just let the copyrights lapse.'

Then we can all wear the Chief again.

aking wrote on October 27, 2015 at 11:10 am

No.  Special interests and imcompentecy are not allowing us to move on from this issue.  Many other institutions have "retired" offensive mascots, picked new ones, and moved on.  The fact that we somehow cannot is a major problem.

Illiniwek21 wrote on October 27, 2015 at 11:10 am

First of all. SYMBOL, Never MASCOT.

Second: Three in One is compiled from 3 separately published pieces of music. All of them were sanctioned separately by Illinois Bands, and recompiled as a medley. The music itself is up to sheer interpretation and interpretation is not actionable. The fact that Alumns yell "Chief" is nothing controllable by the University.

go'bri399 wrote on October 27, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Very true.  Everything is100% true! Shocking that Chancelor Wilson refers to the Chief as a mascot.  The Chief was NEVER a mascot and the University has always said so.  You can tell she hasn't been here long.  Love when outsiders try to represent us.  And yes, interpretation is not actionable. Good luck on that one Mr. Kaufman, and good luck trying to control the what the Alums say.  

spangwurfelt wrote on October 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm

"First of all. SYMBOL, Never MASCOT."

Yeah, I remember when the people supporting the racist mascot tried to run the "it's a symbol, not a mascot" game. And the response they got was, quite deservedly, "it's a distinction, not a difference."

The Chief's a racist mascot, the University is well rid of him, and it's time for Farmer City to get the news.

Tom Napier wrote on October 28, 2015 at 2:10 pm

"The Chief is a racist mascot ..."

You and others posting similar comments say the Chief is racist. Your justification appears to be that he's racist because you think he's racist, and because you think he's racist, he is in fact racist. I've never received any further explanation.

Please tell me, exactly how does the Chief Illiniwek tradition compel one to assign characteristics to persons based only on their race, or engender a perception that one race is inherently superior to another, which is the definition of "racist?" I've asked this question of some other Chief opponents; they either persist in the circular argument or refuse to answer.

As an aside, your juvenile, insulting writing style (Farmer city, zombie-chief, and many, many other posts) is amusing, but hardly a way to gain others' respect. But please do keep it up. It's a good indicator of credibility.

Nice Davis wrote on October 29, 2015 at 12:10 am

You're still mad about the racist mascot going away. That's funny.

Tom Napier wrote on October 29, 2015 at 9:10 pm

Thank you. Your response repeats the circular argument, avoids answering the question, belittles me, and contributes nothing constructive ... all at the same time. The perfect anti-Chief arguement. Well played.

I think you're still mad (or in denial) that Chief Illiniwek continues to command a high level of respect within the University of Illinois community despite the "free speech" advocates' censorship campaign.

Nice Davis wrote on October 29, 2015 at 10:10 pm

I'm not in denial about the fact that lots of people still like the old racist mascot that's never coming back. I'm not mad about it either. I used to get kinda mad about it, but for the past few years I've just laughed at them. These are grown men and women who get furious because they don't get to watch a stereotype dance around at halftime anymore! Some of them care more about the old racist mascot than the athletes that represent the University!

It's easy for me to sit back and laugh, because I know the old racist mascot is never coming back. Ha ha! Too much fun. I hope the News-Gazette never stops writing stories about the dancing stereotype.

Tom Napier wrote on October 30, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Nuts. I forgot two very important ingredients of the perfect anti-Chief argument: misinforming and misleading. By using the term "stereotype dancing" you're saying the Chief's dance and appearance was an invention of, presumably, non-Natives based, presumably, on non-Native tastes or style. You do know, don't you, that the Dance was originally choreographed by Native Americans, and the Regalia was fabricated by Native Americans? If you don't know, perhaps you should learn about the tradition so you will have a valid basis for your opinion, be it pro or con. If you do know, you're deliberately misinforming and therefore misleading the reader to believe something facts do not support, which seriously undermines your argument.  It's that credibility thing again. 

Enjoy your evening.

Nice Davis wrote on October 30, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Thanks, I will! Reading your funny comment was a great start to my evening :)

Illiniwek222 wrote on October 27, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Next Kaufman will no doubt propose that attendees at sporting events will no longer be admitted in Chief attire. Thought police will be at the entrance gates.

While attending the game and walking around campus last weekend, it seemed that the amount of Illiniwek shirts and caps has increased. And I think recent comments from the anti-Chief faction has led to increased awareness of online availability (Gameday, Fan's Edge, T-Shirt) and increased sales.

Kaufman and Rosenstein can rant until they are red in the face, but eight years after his "official" departure, Chief Illiniwek lives on.   


mustwhiz wrote on October 27, 2015 at 12:10 pm

REALLY! Why does the administration listen to this clown at all... when the overwhelming majority support the Chief symbol? Why does the News Gazette feel compelled to give this nobody any space in the paper? The university loses image every time they let this clown go off. The fan base is negatively effected and the News paper ends up being his lap dog once again. WE ARE the "Fighting Illini" and our eighty year old symbol the "Chief" will not be forgotten. The "Shield" or others will never replace the honored tradition that is the CHIEF. Why not get behind and facilitate our athletic teams and athletes instead of letting the extreme minority try to dissolve another honored tradition like "The Three in One"?

dzehner2 wrote on October 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Hear hear! 

dzehner2 wrote on October 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Only the people who promote their own self-righteous crusade against the Chief listen to people like this professor emeritus... If he wants the Chief to go away so badly, he should stop bringing up things that relate to the Chief at every meeting he attends and just be quiet already. Anyone else up for pasting this guy's lawn with Cheif apparel?

Mudhoney wrote on October 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Oops !  I must've said something inflammatory .  My comment was removed.  Ok.  To put it another way, how is this guy allowed to walk around on campus let alone "teach" here.

andrewscheinman wrote on October 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Something's wrong with this story, I looked on the US Patent and Trademark Office website to see what trademarks are still live for the Chief words (Chief Illiniwek) or any associated images.  You can try this yourself by going to http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database and clicking on TESS and then doing a combined word and/or design mark search  (free form) (I think this link will work: http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database)

There are four registered word marks for "Illiniwek," all of them dead (i.e., expired).  There's one mark for the design ... this is registered to Shaun Kamps INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 201 North Signal Hill Road North Barrington ILLINOIS 60010, NOT UIUC.

So what's going on, what rights are UIUC even trying to execute?  There are articles suggesting UIUC opposed Kamps application, and that there was a consent decree, but NOWHERE do I see that UIUC even owns that image.

Trademarks aren't my thing -- I'm a patent guy -- but, really, let's have news articles that are clearer on the facts.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on October 28, 2015 at 12:10 pm
Profile Picture

Trademarks don't need to be registered with the USPTO. That's only circle-R trademarks. Circle-TM (unregistered) trademarks are created through use.

Same with copyright.

VGfatboy wrote on October 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

I'm Steve Kaufman and I want to be relevant. 

Dangit,  we just gave this clown more attention than his research ever merited. 

Rocky7 wrote on October 27, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Dear Dr. Kaufmann,

Please give this issue a rest. It's over.

annabellissimo wrote on October 27, 2015 at 4:10 pm

What an absurd little popinjay who is clearly full of himself and his imagined importance. What Native Americans/American Indians asked him to speak for them? How exactly does MUSIC bother him and why should anybody else care what music bothers him? If the University of Illinois administration bows to this lunacy, as they have to far too much other lunacy, then all donations should stop with the exception of those from Kaufman and his like-minded totalitarian bullies.By the way, the interim Chancellor Wilson referred to Chief Illiniwek as a “mascot” and that is absolutely false. How many times does that little semantic argument need to be waged? The character was never a “mascot” and any real Chancellor – with the exception of the interloper, ersatz and erstwhile “leader” Nancy Cantor, whose destructive legacy from her short but damaging term at the U of I still smolders – should know better! For the interim Chancellor to call Chief Illiniwek a “mascot” does not bode well for the possibility of her feeling kinship with the likes of Kaufman. When Kaufman succeeds in banning MUSIC, what next? Demanding the eradication of the echoes of the music in people’s heads? “Off with their heads”, says the Queen of Hearts wannabe/red queen Kaufman, “so I cannot imagine that they are listening to the shadowy strains of the ‘three-in-one!’ I cannot bear to think that anyone is imagining hearing that music,” says Queen of Hearts/ red queen Kaufman. “And by the way, I don’t much care for the national anthem either so that’s next to go”, says the Queen of Hearts/red queen Kaufman. And Kaufman reminds his small, un-merry band (oops…sorry….I said “band”; I hope that doesn’t remind Kaufman of music he hates) of silly followers that they will be meeting on weekends to foment unrest about other offending works and he wants all to bring some sheet music and they will plan on a bonfire. “We’ll call it Bonfire of the Vanities,” says most-vain Queen of Hearts, red queen Kaufman. “Then we’ll have a moment of reverent silence for Mao Zedong and his brilliant Chinese Cultural Revolution, re-education, and brain-washing methods. HE would not have liked this music nor would HE have liked Chief Illiniwek. A paragon of human rights and dignity was Mao and we will wear red in honor of ME, says Queen of Hearts/red queen Kaufman, and of him, too, I guess. Then we’ll break for snacks – I’m thinkin’ pemmican, some corn cakes and buffalo jerky,” says Kaufman, organizer and activist of the non-issues. Give the man a microphone (and maybe a little background music) and a TV camera or two is nice and he will tell us all what American Indians want, need, like, and in the process, he will remain in the spotlight which he has so longed for since Chief Illiniwek was retired. “If only I could retire, “ Kaufman was heard to say, whereupon the meager crowd applauded and said, “hear, hear” and began passing around a basket with the words, “Florida or Bust for Kaufman” painted on the side. Kaufman was heard to mumble something about the Florida Seminoles being in desperate need of his services

acylum wrote on October 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Mr. Kaufman,

you personally have encouraged me to give the gift of an unlicensed Chief tshirt to all of my friends and relatives this xmas.  Thank you for the wonderful suggestion.  I never would have thought of it without you opening your piehole.

I hope your overplayed and misguided crusade leads to a large increase in sales of chief gear this fall.


spangwurfelt wrote on October 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Kaufman's right. If it gets the zombie-chief people upset, then they can move to Florida.

Youngbld wrote on October 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Whith Kaufman employed, the University will never get any of my money. If he's not happy, why not look for a new job?

mgd wrote on October 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm



Nothing at the U of I ever seems to be over. Especially this year. What we have here is recurring themes.

Recurring and recurring and recurring.

I repeat the comment, "Go away."

Use your talents and energy to truly help in the world, in the country, in the state and in the towns.

Enough, already.

Go away.

Mary Gates DeRosier

Daxndata wrote on October 27, 2015 at 6:10 pm

I do not understand how an instrumental piece of music can be racist. Also, i was told sone time ago that there were only three different races of humans. Those that were here when Columbus "discovered" amarica were of many different nations, and the Illini were one if them. If this is true, then having a ficticious person from the Illini nation would not be racist. The Illini were a nation, not a race. Other nations are irrelevant to this discussion. Is Notre Dame 'racist' against the country of Ireland? They seem to be making fun of that little guy.

And to Mr. Kauffman, YOU are the racst here! Well, by asocation any way. You are affiliated with the University of Illinois. The University is associated with Chief Illiniwek. Therefore YOU must be retired by the University. You seem to think that method should be utilized in regards to a musical piece, so why should it not be used for you?



Illinifan2000 wrote on October 27, 2015 at 9:10 pm

Kaufman is professor emeritus of what? Annoyance Studies?

The real question is can we hire Kaufman as our new Athletic Director?

              BRING BACK THE CHIEF. 

IndianaBill wrote on October 28, 2015 at 3:10 am

I have Native American blood and I will never again go to any sport event at the U of I without the Chief there, nor will I wear anything Illini without the true Chief on it

Tom Napier wrote on October 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Because you are of Native American ancestry who also respects Chief Illiniwek, you don't count, at least according to Stephen Kaufman.

Illini '73 wrote on October 28, 2015 at 7:10 am

My mother used to say, "He's talking just to hear his head rattle."  I think this applies here.

I thought this was settled 8 years ago.  Did he think that that would stop people from wearing Chief apparrel just because the U banned it?

I would think the liberal establishment would be shreiking about people's rights to free speech and free expression.  Or does that only apply when the speech toes the line that they agree with?

Illiniwek222 wrote on October 28, 2015 at 10:10 am

The hypocrisy of this faction of anti-Chief faculty is amazing. They support the hiring of a convicted murderer and another spewing hate speech on the basis of academic freedom/ freedom of speech, but when applying these concepts to the Chief, not so much.

As for temporary chancellor Wilson's comments, Chief Illiniwek is the revered symbol of the University, not a mascot. As for her comments regarding a vacuum, the only vacuum is the lack of the Chief at half time, and even then, judging by the reaction of the crowd, the Chief is present. 


Tom Napier wrote on October 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Stephen Kaufman has become irrelevant. His most recent tirades indicate he is tilting at windmills. His campaign to eradicate any and all vestiges of Native American references at the University of Illinois has become obsessive. To think he can dictate what the public must think, wear, and listen to is self-delusional. His perception of power and influence over the University of Illinois' highest administrators has become comical to the point of being pitiful. Perhaps he did have a sincere concern for social issues once upon a time. But it is now difficult to take him and his acolytes seriously.

CecilColeman wrote on October 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm


I'm certain that there are Native Americans on reservations all over North America that are upset as hell and go to sleep at night weeping because the Marching Illini play and perform the "Three In One."

That being said, it's time for Mr. Kaufman to worry about his pension and his publications somewhere on the beaches of California. Or go jump out of a window.

I encourage everyone to purchase Chief merchandise with their hard earned money and WEAR CHIEF SHIRTS AND HOODIES TO ALL GAMES.

Nice Davis wrote on October 29, 2015 at 12:10 am

I appreciate this article because it prompted a lot of funny whining from people who are still mad about the racist mascot nearly a decade after he last danced. I will never get tired of watching these people work themselves into a lather.

Illiniwek222 wrote on October 29, 2015 at 11:10 am

Key to the return of the Chief would be bringing back an elected Board of Trustees.

Considering the state of the governorship in recent years, the Board should be selected by the tax paying voters, as it once was.

Mike wrote on October 29, 2015 at 8:10 pm

Which is hilarious, because the only people that are mad are the tiny minority who actually got their way and are STILL annoyed that folks own Chief merchandise and yell "CHIEF!" during the 3-in-1. I've accepted that the Chief can no longer perform at games. YOU folks need to "let it go."

Did you even read the article? A RETIRED professor wants to have a musical performance that has NOTHING do with the Chief stopped because it reminds him of Chief Illiniwek. Who is whining?

The only person worked "into a lather" is Kaufman. The Chief has been retired. What more will he go after if the 3-in-1 is removed as well? Orange ane blue? Get rid of the University altogether? Rename the state?

Kaufman is being absolutely ridiculous.

Nice Davis wrote on October 29, 2015 at 10:10 pm

I can think of some pro-chief people who are mad. You're one of them, it seems.