North Dakota Athletics Leaving the Reservation
Last month, when the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux took the ice in their first game of the 2010 Frozen Four NCAA Hockey Championship, little did they know it would be their last.
Their last as they currently exist, anyway. A recent court ruling upheld a previous decision that essentially allows the university to do away with the Fighting Sioux nickname and move forward to something else.
It seems as though this debate over offensive Native American nicknames and mascots has gone on forever. UND found themselves in a situation where an earlier court decision said that they had to recieve approval from both of the Sioux tribes in the state - Spirit Rock and Standing Lake - in order to retain the nickname.
The Spirit Rock tribe gave their full support, but the Standing Lake tribe never even voted on the issue, largely because their tribal bylaws forbid it, and they are in no rush to change that.
Some might argue that UND be one of the few schools to keep such a nickname, since neither local tribe is offended by it, but this is a good chance to just move on. They even have a nice example to follow.
In related news, William and Mary recently decided to officially become recognized as the Griffins. The school was known as the Indians from inception through the 1980's, then changed to the Tribe until this most recent decision.
If nothing else, it's a nice chance to come up with a cool new logo to market on their merchandise.