The University of North Dakota will be looking for a new nickname for their sports teams.
Voters in North Dakota chose to retire the Fighting Sioux moniker the university’s sports teams have had for year by a 67.35 percent to 32.65 percent margin according to the Grand Forks Herald.
The Fighting Sioux name has come under fire in recent years thanks to the NCAA looking to move away from “hostile and abusive” nicknames and mascots for schools. North Dakota’s men’s hockey team fought hard to keep the name, but the NCAA and member conferences in other sports put the squeeze on the university by threatening to ban the school from playoffs because of the name.
University president Robert Kelley sounds resigned to giving up the name in a statement after the vote.
We are appreciative that voters took the time to listen and to understand the issues and the importance of allowing the University to move forward. We also understand how deeply this has affected all of us.
Tuesday’s vote allows us to focus our attention on our students as we continue to build exceptional programs in all areas of the University. We appreciate the support that has been expressed for the University of North Dakota over the past several weeks, and especially for UND Athletics. It is support that will continue to be important as we build a great future for the University and for UND Athletics.
We will continue to work with the State Board of Higher Education, the North Dakota University System, and the leadership in athletics as we move forward.
The school has fought hard to keep the name and while they’ve been respectful of the Sioux name, it appears change is coming for North Dakota.
(h/t Jennifer Conway on UND statement)