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Grizvox: Sioux or Sue?
Did you by any chance miss the five-paragraph item that the decision as to whether the state’s voters can decide whether the University of North Dakota can continue to be called the Fighting Sioux went to the Supreme Court?
The highest court in the state refused to stop this summer’s (June 12) voter referendum that if approved would require the school to retain the school’s current moniker and American Indian warrior logo.
This has been an ongoing dispute since the NCAA in 2005, as well later as the Big Sky Conference, mandated the use of the logo and nickname were offensive to some, then mandated sanctions for their continued use.
It has been a polarizing issue in Grand Forks with disagreement even among the state’s tribes over whether either the nickname or the logo was offensive.
In a UND blog, school president Robert Kelly recently wrote about the long-term ramifications if voters supported the measure because the NCAA has remained steadfast that lack of a change will prevent the school from hosting championship events, like an FCS football playoff game.
The governing body also would encourage member institutions from scheduling games against UND which is scheduled to enter the Big Sky Conference next season after the five-year required transition from Division II.
And the Big Sky already has said failure to follow the NCAA mandate could prompt action by the league’s school presidents and indeed affect UND’s entrance into the league.
No matter what I think about the debacle and what seems to me like much-to-do-about nothing or my feelings about a national organization mandating requirements on a land-grant institution, ponder this.
Will voters who are supporters on the state’s other major school, North Dakota State University, the defending FCS national champion and already a Division 1 member, flood the polls in support of retaining the nickname and moniker just to penalize the future athletic fortunes of the rival institution?
It certainly could be a mandate on just how deeply school’s colors run.
A just what would occur in the Treasure State if indeed there were an effort to require a mascot change in Missoula because of the adverse affect of a school’s mascot being listed as an endangered species?
In my mind the question lingers whether common sense, and for that matter whose definition of same, can prevail.
It sure should be interesting.
BY MICK HOLIEN, Grizvox