Utah sought permission from the NCAA to keep using its Utes nickname and requested a decision before tonight's nationally televised football game against Arizona.

The university sent a seven-page appeal to the NCAA on Wednesday, asking that it be removed from a list of 18 schools with American Indian nicknames, mascots or images.

"The university is anxious to have this matter resolved," University President Michael K. Young wrote.

The NCAA said there would be no decision by today and declined to say when a ruling is expected.

The school's mascot dresses as a red-tailed hawk and has nothing to do with the state's Indian heritage. Other than the name, the only Indian reference the school uses is two feathers on the "U" emblem.

On Aug. 4, the NCAA said it would ban American Indian images 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 will be barred from using Indian images beginning in 2008.

The decision also prohibits schools with American Indian mascots from hosting future NCAA postseason events. Schools that have already been awarded postseason tournaments would have to cover any Indian depictions in their sports venues.

The appeal includes two letters in support of the university, one from Maxine Natchees, chairwoman of the Uintah and Ouray Tribal Business Committee, and one from Craig Thompson, commissioner of the Mountain West Conference.

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

-- From News Services