Just UND for now thank you. The University of Montana plays the University of North Dakota this coming Saturday. UND is a team with no name/mascot. The teams used to be called “The Flickertails.” That was changed to “The Sioux” in 1930. “Fighting” was added later, stealing the idea from Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish.” It remained that way until 1999. The legislature tried to drop the name, but the bill went nowhere.
Then in 2005, the NCAA entered the fray stating that they would sanction schools with tribal logos and/or nicknames, including UND, that the NCAA deemed to be “hostile and abusive.”
In 2006, the state fought back directing the attorney general to sue the NCAA over the issue. The NCAA and North Dakota reached a compromise agreement that would allow the state three years to gain support from the Sioux tribes to continue use of the logo and name. That didn’t happen.
The board of education voted in 2010 to get rid of the name in August 2011. The legislature in the spring of 2011 said no way and passed legislation stopping the move. The bill was subsequently repealed. Citizens started a petition drive and gained enough signatures to get the whole issue on the ballot for a public vote in June of 2012.
Before that could happen, in March of 2012, the NCAA sent UND a letter that said the school would risk losing the right to play postseason games at home if their athletes, cheerleaders or band display the nickname “Fighting Sioux” or the American Indian head logo. School president Robert Kelley issued a statement warning of the consequences if the logo remained.
The vote on the logo was on the ballot June 12, 2012, and a majority of almost 67 percent chose to retire the name and logo. Two days later, the board of education did away with the name and logo. The school is prohibited from adopting a new one until 2015.
So this weekend, you’ll see our mascot Monte and the UM and Griz logos, but that’s it. A good friend of mine is an alum of UND and wears her jersey proudly.
Don’t forget the Rally in the Valley in Caras Park, you’re all invited. I’m betting you’ll see some old UND logos down there.