CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Once again, Chief Illiniwek supporters are asking fans to show up to the State Farm Center in their chief gear this weekend.
Last year, the group Students for Chief Illiniwek held what it calls the Paint the Hall Chief. They encouraged Illini fans to show up to the men’s basketball game decked out.
They picked this Saturday’s game because it’s around the same time Chief Illiniwek had his last dance more than a decade ago.
Chief Illiniwek was the symbol for the UI from 1926 – 2007. The university retired the chief in 2007 when they faced pressure from the NCAA.
But, many alumni and students say he was a tradition which never should have been eliminated.
The president of the group says how well the Illini have been playing could help their cause.
Last year, there was a rally at the game against chief supporters. The UI spokesperson could not be reached for comment.