Sports Outside the Beltway

NCAA Nicknames

In responce to this, I would like to make a point.

I can understand why North Dakota is suing. This isn’t just about keeping a nickname, but from a financial standpoint, North Dakota is going to have to change all of their fields, courts, stationary, etc. Remember, Division II is slightly different in how they handle playoffs for their “big sports”. Unlike Division I, where the NCAA hosts events on neutral sites, allowing teams to possibly keep their nicknames with little penalty, Division II lets the best team in the region host their events until very late in their tournaments.

My alma mater, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Indians, was also ordered to change their name. They are taking some time to study the issue, which I think they should. I am not personally attached to the nickname myself, and am sort of glad the NCAA has made the university take a stand on an issue they have punted on for some time (I think they should either change everything, or nothing – their solution has been wishy-washy and confusing, without saying anything else). I just hope they don’t pick something lame. However, I understand why a team would sue – North Dakota has traditionally been a very good Division II team, often hosting NCAA playoff events. They do not want to lose those events, but will if they do not change their nickname and mascot. There is more at stake here than just a nickname and a picture.

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