My next question is why does the state have to tackle this issue right now? They still have till 2010. What is the hurry? Funny how they decide now just as the summer is starting and all of the students are going home at the end of the semester. Does this remind you of the summer when president Baker took old logo off the UND hockey uniforms? I can only imagine the stupid name the university would come up with to replace the Fighting Sioux name with. You cannot just change the name to make the Summit League happy. There has to be a process. You can't change the name in the dark or during the summer. The students and alumni need to give input in the selection process.
There is no reason to hurry. The Summit isn't going anywhere and UND can't play for anything for three more years. The Summit League is a second rate conference filled with a bunch of unimpressive teams outside of NDSU, SDSU and South Dakota. Does the university really want to give up it's storied name just for a chance to be in a mediocre mid major? There is no guarantee that they will accept UND even if they drop the Fighting Sioux name. If you think I am wrong, take a look at the impressive schools in this conference; I bet Oakland, Oral Roberts, Southern Utah, Western Illinois, Centenary, IPFW, is really going to fill up the Betty. Sign me up for season tickets right now.
Summit League 'intervening issue'
Tu-Uyen Tran and Wayne Nelson ------- Grand Forks, ND
UND’s chances of entering the Summit League athletic conference may require the state to resolve the controversy over the university’s Fighting Sioux nickname sooner than expected, according to the chairman of a state committee working on the issue.
“I look at the Summit League as an intervening issue,” said Grant Shaft, who will report to the State Board of Higher Education today. “It might lead the board to move our timeline up.”
Under a timeline established earlier this year, the committee has until the end of the year to gather information about the nickname and how it affects the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux reservations and the UND community.
The state board will need the approval of both the state’s Sioux tribes for UND to keep the nickname under an agreement with the NCAA. The board has until the end of November 2010 to get that approval, although to make time for a transition period, approval has to be in place by February.
After speaking with Summit League and UND officials, Shaft said the board may not have the luxury of time.
Last month, Spirit Lake tribal members voted 764-371 to keep the nickname, although formal approval by the Tribal Council is needed to satisfy the NCAA agreement.
Some Standing Rock tribal members are gathering signatures to put the nickname on the ballot there either in July or September. The Standing Rock Tribal Council also has to give formal approval.
However, the time frame of the tribal approval process may conflict with the Summit League’s plans for expansion, according to Shaft. He said he’ll ask the state board to weigh both in its decision, which he does not expect today.
Rather, Shaft said, he’ll ask board members to mull it over until possibly the next monthly board meeting June 18.
Why is timing important for entry into the Summit League or any conference for that matter?
UND views the Summit as an attractive home for the majority of its Division I athletic programs.
The 10-team league is viewed as a good fit geographically for UND. In addition, a number of Summit schools — including North Dakota State and South Dakota State — have similar academic missions.
The Summit recently accepted South Dakota as a new member. Like UND, South Dakota also completed its first season as a Division I athletic program.
UPDATE: I will stand by my earlier statement; 'If you think I am wrong, take a look at the impressive schools in this conference; I bet Oakland, Oral Roberts, Southern Utah, Western Illinois, Centenary, IPFW, is really going to fill up the Betty. Sign me up for season tickets right now.'
I ask Sioux fans; out side of NDSU, SDSU and South Dakota what team on that list above really makes you want to say, hey I want to attend a basketball or baseball game featuring one of those teams? Not that many of us are drooling at the prospects. Is this really all we are left with? It's almost like were are bickering over scraps. That being said I do think the Missouri Valley Football Conference is a nice football conference and has some attractive teams in it.
Over at Bisonville they are discussing this issue, good for them, it will just end up being another food fight between Sioux and Bison fans.
Cross posted at Goon's World.