By Josh Hertzog   Published Jan 16, 2006 at 5:24 AM

This time of year, NFL playoffs -- and teams not usually covered here in Packerland -- are thrust into the national spotlight. With the resurgence of the Washington Redskins, who's season ended Sunday, attention is once again turned to the team's controversial nickname.

It's been debated over the years, but it still remains. With so many teams being forced to change their marques, how do the Redskins slip by? And how are Wisconsin teams with Native American nicknames responding to an increasing call to change to a name less blatantly offensive?

Locally, sports insiders have their opinions. Mark Kryka, president of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association and athletic director at Verona Area High School, has an idea why the name has remained in use.

"We're talking professional sports here," he says. "To them, it's a business, and if the business is thriving, they see no need to change it. It's sad, but true."

Kryka has experienced the debate over Native American team names firsthand. Verona Area High School, where Kryka is the athletic director, had to change its name from the Indians to the Wildcats during the 1991-1992 school year.

"'Redskins' is a whole lot more derogatory than 'Indians,'" adds Kryka. "But, we wanted to make sure everyone in the community was happy, so we changed it."

And now, the entire state of Wisconsin is joining the fray. Wisconsin state superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster recently called for all schools in the state to remove any team names relating to Native Americans. There were 39 schools included.

In her letter she wrote, "As you know, I believe that stereotypical American Indian logos do not support sound educational practice because they interfere with a school's efforts to provide accurate information related to history, culture and tribal sovereignty of American Indian honors."

For Wauwatosa East High School, the Red Raiders team name is in the process of being changed.

"We want to be respectful to Wisconsin tribes," says Wauwatosa East High School athletic director Joe Vitrano. "We should be sensitive and follow protocol. If that means removing the 'red' from Red Raiders, so be it."

As for the Redskins team name, Vitrano says, "That's pretty bad. That one's bad."

Kryka says he isn't a fan of the team name, either. "Redskins should be changed," he says. "It's not right for them to call themselves that."

Says Burmaster, "Stereotypical logos can hurt our children, albeit unintentionally."