The NCAA said yesterday that approval from American Indian tribes would be a primary factor in deciding appeals from schools that want to use Native American nicknames and mascots in postseason play.

The first review is scheduled to start next week.

Two weeks ago, the NCAA announced that it would ban the use of Indian imagery and nicknames by school representatives at postseason tournaments starting in February. Mascots will not be allowed to perform at tournament games, and band members and cheerleaders also will be barred from using Indian images on their uniforms beginning in 2008.

The decision also prohibits schools with Indian mascots from hosting future NCAA postseason events.

Major college football will not be affected because there is no official NCAA tournament.

All appeals will go through a staff committee chaired by Bernard Franklin, the NCAA's senior vice president for governance and membership. Decisions could then be reviewed by the NCAA's executive committee.

"This is a complex issue and the circumstances surrounding each institution's use of Native American mascots and imagery is different," Franklin said in a written statement.

One factor will be whether documentation exists from a "namesake" tribe that has approved use of Indian images or nicknames.

The most outspoken university officials have been at Florida State, which uses the nickname Seminoles and has already threatened a lawsuit.

-- From News Services