WILLISTON, N.D. – State officials voted Thursday to sue the NCAA for penalizing the University of North Dakota over its “Fighting Sioux” nickname and Indian-head logo.
Following a meeting with state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, the North Dakota Board of Higher Education voted 8-0 to authorize the lawsuit, which would be handled by Stenehjem.
The NCAA last year announced a ban on ethnically or racially “hostile” or “abusive” nicknames, mascots and imagery at championship events. It found 18 schools, including UND, in violation of the policy.
Several of those schools have since changed team names and mascots or won appeals after local tribes came to their defense. In UND’s case, though, the NCAA rejected the appeal and told the school it may not use the Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian-head logo during NCAA postseason tournaments, nor host a tournament if it continues to use them.
Stenehjem complained that the NCAA’s decision was delivered by a committee that used constantly changing standards.
Teams that have continued using Indian nicknames with the NCAA’s blessing include the Florida State University Seminoles, Central Michigan University Chippewas and the University of Utah Utes.
NCAA President Myles Brand has said the NCAA will defend its policy “to the utmost.”
The lawsuit will be paid for out of private funds, not taxpayer money, officials said.
In addition to this being an idiotic PC driven policy, The NCAA is uneven in how they apply it. When challenged in court, I think the NCAA will lose.
Of course North Dakota could just change their name. What’s more important, educating students or the name of a school mascot? In a more intelligent world this kind of stupidity by both parties would never make it to the courts.
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