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Former mascots sue University of Illinois

May 10, 2007 at 3:44 PM

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., May 10 (UPI) -- Two University of Illinois students who formerly portrayed the school's Indian mascot added conspiracy charges and defendants to a lawsuit against the NCAA.

A Champaign County judge allowed Dan Maloney and Logan Ponce to make the alternations to their suit, which also targets the University's board of trustees, the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette reported Thursday.

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The suit alleges the NCAA and the college conspired to eliminate the buckskin-attired mascot, Chief Illiniwek. The plaintiffs claim they were deprived of due process when the mascot was eliminated.

"The plaintiffs are entitled to a hearing on the merits of their suit," Judge Mike Jones ruled.

University spokesman Tom Hardy said the case is still in a very early stage.

"The plaintiffs are casting about for something on which to pin their hopes. The judge gave them permission to amend their original complaint but his doing so means nothing in terms of the merits of their case. Our attorneys believe their case is without merit and will defend the university vigorously," Hardy said.

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