Friday, October 06, 2006

North Dakota on warpath with NCAA over nickname

Backed by a fund raised by an arm of the University of North Dakota's alumni association, the state of North Dakota is suing the NCAA for breach of contract. The impetus for the unpleasantness is the controversy swirling around UND's Fighting Sioux nickname and the NCAA's decision to bar the school from using it for being offensive to Native Americans.

While the NCAA has banned nicknames for all members, it has allowed some schools such as Utah (Utes) and Illinois (Fighting Illini) to retain their nicknames following appeals. UND lost its appeal.

While I often dispair of the litigious nature of our culture, I'm glad to see the action taken. While some have misused American Indian nicknames, the vast majority of the monikers are used respectfully. To me, most of them invoke an image of a people who believed in their way of life and defended it bravely even though they played against a stacked deck. It's an image worth emulating.

Go Fighting Sioux.


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