It is done, at least for now. As of yesterday, the State Board of Higher Education of North Dakota decided that the University of North Dakota must retire their Fighting Sioux name and Native American profile symbol by October 1 of this year. UND’s chances are not completely gone, but they are not very good at all. To keep the name and symbol, the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Dakota tribes must vote allowing the university to continue to use the monikers. Given the time frame and the opposition of the Standing Rock tribe, chances are slim. See the article in the Grand Forks Herald.
So why the consternation? I think that the “fighting” part of the name is not defensible at all. But what is wrong with Sioux? Please keep in mind that I am asking questions and playing “Devil’s Advocate” here. City of Sioux Falls, Big Sioux River, and Sioux Steam Cleaner Corp. and the list goes on and on of the use of Sioux. Maybe this is the first domino to fall, but who will make the next domino fall as the NCAA has no standing in their names.
Let’s move on…who will the Bulldogs be playing this next season? While trying to get permission to keep their nickname, they will likely be looking for a new one. Maybe they should just go with the previous name (pre 1930), the Flickertails. Sounds good to me, but I really don’t have a large stake in this whole thing. Comment below with your ideas! Until then, the Fighting Sioux will have to ride off into the sunset and wonder why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Utah Utes can continue playing under NCAA rules with their names. Did all of Ireland and Irish Americans vote on Fighting Irish?
Who is on the high road here? The NCAA certainly seems to be picking who to target and who not to, but as said earlier, Fighting Sioux is over the top. We will just have to wait to see.