FARGO, N.D. -- Six American Indian students at the University of North Dakota filed a federal lawsuit Thursday asking to eliminate the school's Fighting Sioux nickname, one day before state officials are scheduled to meet with NCAA officials about the moniker.As an alum, this debate has raged on for a long time, but I have to say this is the first time I have heard something of this nature:
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 UND and the NCAA that retired the logo. The students want a court order directing the state Board of Higher education and UND to drop it for good.
In addition to their complaints about the state law and settlement agreement, the suit alleges that the nickname has had "a profoundly negative impact" on their self-image and psychological health, and has deprived them "of an equal educational experience and environment."And once again, this is relevant to the Big Sky because of this:
The Big Sky Conference, which UND hopes to join next year, wants the issue resolved and said it could create problems with the school's conference membership.I think I speak for a growing number of UND fans that think the time has come to retire the nickname. No matter how much pride many alumni (like myself) have in the nickname and believe that it stands for honor, pride, and integrity, there are simply not a lot of positive that can come from continuing the fight to keep the nickname.