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New Sports Imagery
Grand Forks, North Dakota - After a seeming quiet, six plus year transition to the new North Dakota sports teams logo, a ballot petition threatens the University's position within the NCAA and the Big Sky Athletic Conference.
"In keeping with state law and the direction of North Dakota State Board of Higher Education President Grant Shaft, the University of North Dakota has resumed the use of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo for our athletic teams."
The University President said in a written statement earlier today.
As the transition away from the Fighting Sioux name and American Indian cartoon caricature that University President Robert Kelley said would have a price tag of upwards of $750,000.00, 17,000 signatures have been collected in an effort to get the issue of saving the school's old nickname and imagery on the November ballot.
Back in 2005 the NCAA notified a number of Universities and colleges, including the University of North Dakota that their American Indian names and imagery were offensive and had to be changed or the schools would face sanctions.
Some schools including the Florida State Seminoles and the Central Michigan University Chippewas avoided NCAA sanctions by gaining the support of area tribes in their states and continue to use their nicknames and imagery. The University of North Dakota was unable to gain the support of all the Sioux tribes in North Dakota and so the North Dakota Board of Higher Education agreed to change the school's nickname and imagery in 2009.
Late last year the NCAA reaffirmed its position, even after a visit to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis by the North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and University President Kelley. The private NCAA is not bound by the same laws the very public university is bound by. Also, the other Big Sky athletic conference members could refuse to play against the UND teams even before the ballot initiative could be voted upon by North Dakota citizens.
So, after over six years, court orders and state legislation, at least some in North Dakota are choosing an old mascot over correcting a wrong and quality athletic competition.
What do you say?
posted February 8, 2012 6:40 pm est
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