Endless debate, years of discussion and strong disagreement have led us to this point with the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. Measure 4 is a referendum allowing the university to to retire the nickname, but the ballot wording is confusing, at best. The measure would repeal legislation that repealed a mandate that UND use the nickname, so a "yes" vote would let UND drop the nickname. A "no" vote would restore the law requiring UND to keep the nickname.
UND officials say they understand the the strong support for keeping the nickname, but they have resigned themselves that they have fought the good fight, and now it's time to move on, for the sake of the entire university. Keeping the name, they say, is hurting the university both academically and in the world of sports. A few teams, including some of UND's biggest rivals, have said they won't schedule games against the university if it retains the nickname.
Nickname supporters argue that the NCAA?shouldn't be allowed to force the university to drop the popular nickname and logo, and they don't necessarily believe that other teams will no longer play against UND if the nickname stays.
We doubt Tuesday's vote will be the final word on this emotional debate, no matter which way the vote goes. But dragging out the nickname debate longer will not hurt the NCAA; it will only serve to damage UND's reputation in the academic and research circles, as well as hurting UND's potential membership in a new sports conference.
We don't have to be happy about changing the nickname, but the issue shouldn't be about what's best for individuals. What's best for UND at this point? True supporters of the school should consider that question when the ponder their vote on Tuesday.
It's time to move on. The University of North Dakota should be allowed to retire its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.