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Time to let go of Sioux logo

By Staff | Jun 28, 2011

For the most part, the leadership shown by the officials who run the state of North Dakota is above par. Considering the entity we’re talking about is government, North Dakota’s leadership is well above average.

That’s, of course, until they get involved in sports, nicknames and logos of state-run universities. Yes, we’re talking about the University of North Dakota and the Fighting Sioux nickname.

Now before everyone gets their dander up let’s take a look at this issue objectively and then see if this logo is still worth spending more time, money and energy on. It should also be noted that we support the Sioux. We have their logo on just about everything we own, from T-shirts, caps, cars, you name it. But what good is a logo if you can’t let anyone play with it.

Seriously, how would you like to have the job of being athletic director at UND? First of all, the process of going from Division II status to Division I and its probationary period is challenging. Finding a conference to compete in that best lines up with your school geographically and in size is also challenging.

Enter the NCAA, who runs college athletics in the country. If you are going to play college sports in America you are going to play by the NCAA rules or basically you’re not going to compete with anyone as they’re the only governing college athletic body around.

They have publicly stated they want to do away with Native American nicknames and mascots. The NCAA then signs an agreement with North Dakota’s Board of Higher Education to phase out and eliminate the UND nickname.

With the nickname issue apparently behind them, UND gets accepted into a big-time athletic conference, the Big Sky. This conference fits them well, except there is no hockey and the travel will be expensive, but it is a legitimate conference with national prominence.

Enter the State Legislature, primarily Al Carlson who introduces a bill for UND to stay Fighting Sioux forever. Now that’s great and we’re all for it and the state’s residents cheer. However, the Big Sky Conference and some of its schools have a problem with Native American nicknames. In fact, some schools have passed resolutions that they won’t play schools who have Native American nicknames. Now, we’re not saying this politically correct crowd is right, but there comes a time when there is nobody to play or no conference to join because the liberal academic crowd and the NCAA pressures the powers that be not to play UND.

So where does UND go from here? Well, they can’t do a darn thing because the state legislature passed a law saying the Sioux nickname is the law and that is can’t be changed.

So with no athletic conference to join, UND is left to wander the desert aimlessly searching for teams to play on an individual basis. With the exception of hockey, soon UND will be similar to the Harlem Globetrotters and will have to bring their own competition with them because there will be no one else to compete with.

By W. Todd Morgan The Walsh County Record

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