Opinion: UND should have axed 'Sioux' long ago
"The settlement of the lawsuit between UND and the NCAA (Oct. 26), granting UND three years to convince North Dakota's Sioux Indian community that “Fighting Sioux” is an inoffensive nickname, is, in my opinion, the worst possible outcome of this long, silly and tedious controversy. The best outcome would have been for UND to accept the NCAA's decision (Aug. 5, 2005) or to have acquiesced after its first (Sept. 28, 2005) or even second (Aug. 28, 2006) formal appeal had been denied by the NCAA. That would have been something like good sportsmanship.

Instead, UND chose to sue the NCAA (Oct. 5, 2006). This effectively dragged the sovereign people of North Dakota (and our attorney general) into a nickname crisis. By suing the NCAA, UND declared that it knows better than the collective collegiate athletic community in America, and knows better indeed than the North Dakota Indian community, which quietly but firmly agreed with the NCAA's position that “Fighting Sioux” is racially insensitive.

The “settlement” not only prolongs a controversy that has already gone on far too long, and continues to divide and distract UND, UND alumni, Grand Forks and North Dakota, but now imposes impossible pressures on North Dakota's Indian communities. The settlement will create new and entirely unnecessary tensions between the white and Indian communities. Notice that the tense debate is being moved from its proper sphere (UND) to a completely innocent sphere (the reservation). This is a failure of leadership by UND president Charles Kupchella, if we regard leadership as the making of hard choices and not shunting them off onto people who are not responsible for the crisis."

Get the Story:
Clay Jenkinson: UND nickname lawsuit victory is a cynical, pyrrhic one (The Grand Forks Herald 11/11
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Relevant Links:
University of North Dakota - http://www.und.edu
The Ralph - http://www.theralph.com
Fighting Sioux - http://www.fightingsioux.com

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