University of North Dakota "Fighting Sioux" nickname retired
North Dakota fans and supports hoped they would never see. After almost 80 years, the North Dakota State Board of Education and the University of North Dakota will retire the “Fighting Sioux” nickname.
The 2010-2011 season will likely be an emotional one in North Dakota athletics. They will be allowed to remain the Fighting Sioux for one final season before the nickname is put to rest. From now until the 2011-2012 athletic season begins, the University will be searching high and low for a replacement nickname.
From the natives, to the athletes, to the management, to former hockey head coach Dean Blais; it is a sad day for all. It is not a day that wasn’t seen coming, however. Recently, even the College of William & Mary was forced to retire its “Tribe” nickname. They are now called the Griffins.
The Illinois “Fighting Illini” and the Florida State Seminoles could be the next colleges to see their nicknames retired.
As for the University of North Dakota, their biggest hit is in their hockey facility. The Ralph Engelstad Arena has over 2,400 Fighting Sioux logos in its building. The NCAA has a plan through the year 2013 that would force the University to remove the logos from the building or they would not be allowed to host NCAA playoff hockey games. Jody Hodgson, manager at Ralph Engelstad Arena, says that there will be no changes made to “The Ralph.”
This is certainly something to be followed moving forward. The transition for North Dakota will be vital to the University and their athletic programs.