Supporters of keeping the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname and logo have long argued that the people of North Dakota should decide the contentious issue.
Well, the people of North Dakota spoke loudly and clearly on Tuesday, and it's time for the supporters to move on. UND did just that on Thursday, officially retiring the nickname.
Few were actually rejoicing Wednesday, the day after about 68 percent of voters rejected another attempt to force the university to retain the nickname and logo. Given its choice, UND would not have done away with the Fighting Sioux name. But the school administration, coaches and many students supported retiring the name before it adversely affected the school's ability to recruit athletes and students.
The NCAA maintained the nickname was hostile and abusive toward Native Americans, and often listed the repercussions of keeping the name. Some of UND's biggest sports rivals have said they would not play UND?if the nickname was kept, and the university would not be allowed to wear the logo or use the name in postseason tournaments, nor would UND be allowed to host NCAA?tournaments at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Tuesday's vote sent the issue back to the North Dakota Board of Higher Education, which voted to retire the nickname once before. Thursday, the members of the board directed UND to retire the name, and it's time to move on to other issues. As requested by nickname supporters, North Dakota's voters have spoken.