Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 26, 2011 10:01 AM
North Dakota may have the fourth fewest residents of any U.S. state, but they’ve got more stubbornness than most states put together.
In 2005, the NCAA told its member schools that they needed to get rid of any American Indian nicknames if area tribes didn’t approve of the name or face penalties. Even though only one of two major Sioux tribes approved of the name, the Fighting Sioux of the University of North Dakota have fought that ruling at every step. The pair reached a settlement in 2007 that would have the university change its name by this past Monday, but then the state went so far as to pass legislation in the spring requiring UND to keep the name, USA Today reports.
Indian Country News reports that despite the NCAA’s hard-line efforts on getting rid of offensive American Indian logos and mascots, the association’s site still sold University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux gear this week after the deadline it had imposed.
NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson told the site that all Fighting Sioux gear “have been, or will be, removed from the website.”
Earlier this month, USA Today notes, “six American Indian students at the school filed a federal lawsuit over its Fighting Sioux nickname. The complaint alleges that a new law requiring the school to keep the nickname violates the state constitution and reverses a court-ordered settlement between the school and NCAA.”
The NCAA can remove all the gear it wants -- it doesn’t appear that the Fighting Sioux are disappearing just yet.