NCAA Wins Fight Over North Dakota's 'Fighting Sioux'
By John Gramlich, Staff Writer
The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the governing body of college sports, has ordered the university to change its controversial nickname , which has long offended some American Indian groups and been the subject of political and legal wrangling for five years. If it doesn't, the school will face tough sanctions, not only a ban on the use of its nickname and logo during postseason sports tournaments but a ban on hosting such tournaments itself.
School officials reluctantly announced they will change the nickname by year's end , The (Fargo) Forum reports.
In North Dakota, the debate over the "Fighting Sioux" name has stretched far beyond campus. Governor Jack Dalrymple took part in a last-minute effort to save the name last week, leading a contingent of state and university officials to the NCAA's headquarters in Indianapolis to lobby their case in person. But NCAA President Mark Emmert refused to budge, saying the organization was bound by a 2007 court settlement requiring the university to change its nickname by August 15 of this year - this past Monday .
After the meeting, Dalrymple said he would introduce legislation later this year that would facilitate a name change at the school, with all signs pointing to a resolution in the next few months. "We appealed for the better part of an hour and asked the question a number of different ways," Dalrymple told The Associated Press . "But there's no question the settlement will stand and there will be no further negotiations."
Besides choosing a new team name and rebranding itself, the university will need to remove the "Fighting Sioux" logo from its campus buildings, including its hockey arena, home of this year's NCAA national semifinals.
The saga over the University of North Dakota's nickname began in 2006, when the NCAA deemed 19 colleges and universities to have nicknames, logos and mascots that were " hostile and abusive" to American Indians. Many schools pushed back against the determination, but only North Dakota fought the NCAA until this week's court-imposed deadline.