The much anticipated vote on the future of the Fighting Sioux nickname has finally been decided. The people of North Dakota voted overwhelmingly in favor of retiring the nickname with the final vote tally being 67% in favor and 33% opposed to retiring the nickname. The Grand Forks Herald article can be found here.
This is a bittersweet day for all UND fans across the country. In our opinion, there was no better logo in all of collegiate athletics and it is sad to see it go. There is no doubt the NCAA is overstepping its bounds on this and doing it in a hypocritical manner. However, this battle has been going on for decades and once the NCAA stepped in and implemented their penalties for keeping a Native American nickname, we felt it was time – as did many others. As football fans we have mixed emotions because right or wrong, football was the sport that was in the crossfire most during the past year when it came to this issue. They had the most to lose if the nickname was kept. There was a chance the Big Sky could rescind UND’s offer of joining their conference if the sanctions remained intact. Most fans love the name but also badly wanted their team in the Big Sky conference. It was apparent that they could not have both.
We think this will solidify the UND Athletic Department’s position in the Big Sky Conference and Division 1 Athletics for the long term future. We are hoping for a statement from Commissioner Doug Fullerton sometime in the next day or two to give an idea of what this means on their end. UND is set to officially join the Big Sky on July 1st, the first day of the new fiscal year.
This would seem to be the ‘official’ end of a very long journey for the fight over the nickname and logo between UND and the NCAA. While we will definitely miss being officially known as the Fighting Sioux and adorning such an elite logo, we know that the many years of tradition and pride that have been intertwined with the name and logo will live on forever.
One thing is for sure – the NCAA can’t make us change the name of our blog. (By the way, this just happens to be the 200th post in the long and illustrious history of our blog)