Sports Outside the Beltway

Univ. of North Dakota to retire Fighting Sioux nickname

Chalk up a win for political correctness. From the Argus Leader-

North Dakota’s Board of Higher Education has agreed to drop the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian head logo, a move intended to resolve a decades-long campus dispute about whether the name demeans American Indians.

The name and logo, which is a profile of an American Indian man with feathers and streaks of paint on his face, could still be saved if North Dakota’s Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes agree by Oct. 1 to give UND permission to use them for at least 30 years.

However, tribal officials say that possibility is remote, and board members and UND President Robert Kelley spoke of the logo and nickname in the past tense on Thursday. Unless the name and logo receive tribal endorsement, they will be retired for good on Aug. 1, 2010.

The board, which met Thursday at Dickinson State University, voted 8-0 to retire the logo and nickname.

So what should the new North Dakota nickname be? The fighting Certified Public Accountants? The armed and ready B-52s? Any other suggestions?

Hat tip- Joanne Jacobs


Frozen Four Field Set

On April 5th, the Frozen Four will feature Maine vs. Michigan State and North Dakota vs. Boston College. The winners will play on April 7th in St. Louis for the NCAA Title.

1st Round




4-Massachusetts Massachusetts
Won, 1-0 ot
Won, 3-1
Cloud State
Won, 4-1
4 p.m. ET
1-Notre Dame        
4-Alabama-Huntsville Notre Dame
Won, 3-2 2ot
    Michigan State
Won, 2-1
Michigan State
Won, 5-1
3-Michigan State        
St. Louis,
4-Air Force Minnesota
Won, 4-3
    North Dakota
Won, 3-2 ot
2-Michigan North Dakota
Won, 8-5
3-North Dakota        
8 p.m. ET
1-New Hampshire        
4-Miami Miami
Won, 2-1
    Boston College
Won, 4-0
2-Boston College Boston College
Won, 4-1
3-St. Lawrence        


Carol Russell- Coach and Mother

She gave birth and helped coach the University of Nebraska at Kearney Women’s Basketball team in one day.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – About five hours after giving birth to her first child, University of Nebraska at Kearney women’s basketball coach Carol Russell was out of the hospital and on the bench to help coach her players in the North Central Region basketball tournament.

“I could have watched the Webcast, but I wanted to be there for the girls because they’ve been working so hard for this all year,” Russell said.

The University of North Dakota beat the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers 108-75 for the regional championship Monday night, to advance to the
NCAA Division II tournament in Kearney, Neb.

Russell said her team seemed tired in the second half. And being tired was something she could relate to.

“I usually stand up the whole game, but I didn’t have the energy,” said Russell, 35, who’s in her fifth year as head coach.

Russell had permission from doctors to attend the game. She arrived at the game early in the first half and sat on the team bench. Assistant coach Tim Connealy took over most of the coaching duties while Russell said she provided mostly “input and encouragement.”

“I was about three minutes late,” Russell said. “I’m always on my kids about being late, but I guess they understood why I was.”

Russell said her arrival at the game caused double takes by players, coaches and referees, who knew she had just had a baby.

Newborn Isaac bounced in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces.

“She comes to town, has a baby and goes back to coach the game,” said Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown, an obstetrician who was one of Russell’s doctors at Altru Hospital.

“She was due, so she hand-carried her OB records with her to travel,” Brown said. “It makes you smile.”

Russell said she gave birth at about 1:45 p.m. Monday.

“I wasn’t really thinking about the game at that point,” she said. “It’s the birth of my first child, so obviously that came first.”

But shortly before game time, “I started feeling better,” she said, and decided to go to the game.

Russell said hospital officials gave Isaac some UND Fighting Sioux outfits.

“We’re honored the baby chose our community,” said Brown, the city’s mayor.

Russell was slated to check out of the Grand Forks hospital on Tuesday afternoon. She planned to fly back to Nebraska with her team, her husband and Isaac. But she said the baby wouldn’t be dressed in his new North Dakota baby clothes.

“That might be a little salt in wounds for my players, so I doubt it,” Russell said.

Isaac may have a permanent reminder about his time in North Dakota, Russell said.

“My family is kidding me about naming him Dakota,” Russell said. “We’re still searching for a middle name, and that’s an option.”

One very dedicated woman. Congratulation Ms. Russell and God bless you and your son.


Will the University of Minnesota drop out of the Big 10?

If AD Joel Maturi takes the stance in this news to its proper conclusion, the University will leave that conference.

Grand Forks, N.D. The University of Minnesota’s athletic director said the school has not strictly enforced a 2003 policy that discourages games with teams using American Indian nicknames and mascots. But that’s about to change, according to Joel Maturi, university athletic director.

Maturi said his school won’t compete against the University of North Dakota in any sport except men’s and women’s hockey because of UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname.

Maturi said the policy won’t affect other schools in the University of Minnesota system, such as Crookston and Duluth.

North Dakota Athletic Director Tom Buning said Minnesota’s decision won’t affect the school’s Division One plans, adding that it is unfortunate that student athletes won’t get the chance to play Minnesota.

Jim Antes is a member of UND Intercollegiate Athletic Committee who said the Fighting Sioux nickname may be — in his words — “closing doors.”

UND and Minnesota are in the same hockey league. But the schools have not played each other in men’s basketball since 1983 and have played just one women’s basketball exhibition game since 1985.

Mr. Maturi is being very selective. Another Big 10 conference school The University of Illinois’ teams are called the fighting Illini. The Illini are also an Indian tribe. If Minesota is dropping North Dakota for the reason they’re stating, they should leave the Big 10 also. Let them be consistent up there in Minnesota.


North Dakota to sue NCAA over nickname

From AP-

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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