Saturday, June 17, 2006

U of North Dakota president sends NCAA scorching letter over nickname

Sam Hieb got me on the trail of the controversy developing between the University of North Dakota and the NCAA over UND's Fighting Sioux nickname.

Via Power Line, here's a copy of a letter UND president Charles E. Kupchella has sent to the NCAA office informing them of their intention of seeking legal action over the latter's banning of the Fighting Sioux. Kupchella rakes the NCAA over the coals for arrogance and hypocrisy:

The NCAA’s organizational arrogance extends to the innovative and abusive use of the English language. You indicated that Florida State University was exempted because it has a “special relationship” with the Seminoles. At the time you said this, Florida State enrolled just four Seminole students. We have one-hundred times more Indian students here, yet FSU’s is a “special relationship” while ours, you say, is “hostile and abusive.”

Kupchella offers up an interesting hypothetical:

Imagine a scenario in which we bow to the NCAA and remove every vestige of our connection to our traditional nickname, and we earn the right to host one of the exempted schools, say Florida State, in a championship game. Your policy would allow Florida State to come into town with its logo and nickname proudly displayed, led by someone who paints himself up like an Indian “on the warpath” and carries a flaming spear. He could ride into our stadium on a horse and lead FSU fans in a tomahawk chop and an Indian chant. This, while our fans, then the obvious victims of an unfair and irrational policy, seethe in rightful anger.

Go get 'em Fighting Sioux.

You can hear Kupchella dicussing the suit with the Power Line guys on their Northern Alliance Radio show here if you read this before 1:30 pm est.

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