UND women's hockey, facing Fighting Sioux ban, competes with no nickname or logo

Categories: Racism
fighting sioux.jpg
In order to compete in NCAA playoff tournaments, UND must scrub all Fighting Sioux references and images from its gear.
Late last month, the NCAA told UND the school "must forfeit competition" unless it scrubs the "hostile and abusive" Fighting Sioux name and Indian head logo from gear worn by athletes, school band members, cheerleaders, dancers, and mascots.

UND officials have apparently decided not forfeiting is more important than preserving the controversial nickname, as on Saturday the school's women's hockey team took to the ice as The Team With No Name during a 5-1 NCAA tournament loss to Minnesota.

Fighting Sioux lettering and logos were removed from everything from uniforms to bag tags to ensure UND complied with the NCAA's no-Fighting Sioux policy. UND's women hockey players took the ice wearing the team's regular road uniforms, which simply read "North Dakota" on the front.

UND had to go as far as to omit a team photograph from the game program, as players were wearing "Fighting Sioux" jerseys when the picture was taken.

Presumably, UND's other athletic teams will follow the women's hockey team's lead when they compete in championship tournaments, at least until the nickname is changed. The NCAA's forfeiture threat only applies to playoff games, but some competing schools have taken matters into their own hands and told UND they won't compete against the school until the nickname is changed once and for all.

That could happen as soon as this summer. A statewide referendum in June could put the fate of the Fighting Sioux nickname in the hands of North Dakota voters. If they reject the nickname, then perhaps the school will have a new and less controversial nickname in time for next year's hockey playoffs.

Related coverage:
-- NCAA to UND: Fighting Sioux jerseys will result in forfeits
-- Colleges decline to compete against UND because of Fighting Sioux nickname
-- UMD hockey fans warned after "smallpox blankets" chant during Fighting Sioux series
-- Fate of UND's controversial Fighting Sioux nickname may be determined by referendum

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