My friend Rob dropped a bombshell this week when he revealed documents indicating that UND has been a core member of the Big Sky Conference since October 2010. You can view the contract between the NCAA and UND here (pdf).
Well, wait a minute! Weren't we scolded and scared by UND and its liberal proponents into thinking that we'd never make it into the coveted Big Sky Conference if we didn't get rid of that nasty, "Hostile and Abusive™" Fighting Sioux logo?
Kudos to KFYR for picking up on this and even sending some props toward Rob for his discovery - you can view their online article here. Here's where it gets even more interesting:
"This notion that, somehow, the University of North Dakota has misled people about our affiliation in the Big Sky, I think, is inaccurate. We`ve been very upfront about that," said UND Spokesperson Peter Johnson. "We`ve held a news conference, we made a lot of noise when we joined the Big Sky, about a year ago. We`ve said all along that we`re members of the Big Sky Conference."
Um...really? That's news to me. In fact, I have this damning piece of evidence, available by the simplest of Google searches using the terms "und allowed enter big sky conference":
At a hearing Monday on the measure, the university's athletics director, Brian Faison, said keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo has already caused scheduling difficulties and would jeopardize the school's plans to join the Big Sky Conference in July. --ESPN's College Sports news page, November 7th 2011
Somebody at UND better start getting their lies straight! Here are a few more instances of misinformation which the university either propagate or at least allowed to go uncorrected:
Robert Kelley, the university's president, praised the law's approval Wednesday, saying the move would lift the NCAA sanctions and ensure that UND may join the Big Sky Conference. --Bismarck Tribune, November 10th 2011
UND's move to NCAA Division I in 2008 hinged on finding an established conference. The Big Sky is that established conference and had the controversial nickname and logo stayed, the league presidents — based on prior comments — could have refused UND admittance. --WDAY News, November 11 2011
At best, UND officials have allowed a misconception to flourish, while at worst they've misled everybody deliberately. The two quotes above from college president Kelley and athletic director Faison seem to indicate the latter. I don't see any effort by the university to correct the scores of news reports, mostly sourced by the AP, which indicate a pending entry into the Big Sky Conference.
What a mess. We have had UND officials advocating for the removal of the logo behind the scenes, lawsuits by non-Sioux persons claiming discrimination, and now this. There are petitions circulating to put this to a popular vote - I suggest finding one, signing it, and letting North Dakota citizens be in charge of what happens with the Fighting Sioux logo and name, the way it should have been decided in the first place.
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(BISMARCK) Emboldened by their recent victory over the North Dakota legislature and the citizens it represents, the NCAA has delivered another bombshell demand: the state will be barred from hosting post-season events and denied entry into its desired Big Sky Conference unless the state changes its name. That’s right: not the team mascot and logo...the actual name of the state of North Dakota.
“The term ‘Dakota’ is simply another word for ‘Sioux’,” said NCAA executive vice president Bernard Franklin. “We at the NCAA find this state name ”hostile and abusive” and have a strict policy against states which use Native American names. We cannot change that policy. Now that the legislature has seen the light and capitulated in our campaign against the nickname, it’s time to pursue this issue to its logical fruition.”
Worries that visiting sports teams entering the state of North Dakota may be offended when confronted with road signs, license plates, and certain provocative signage bearing the name “North Dakota” at the entry to the University of North Dakota’s campus, representatives of the Big Sky Conference are balking at the idea of allowing UND membership to their organization as well.
“What happens if a team comes to North Dakota and is blindsided by views of Highway Patrol cars, state highway signs, and other ”hostile and abusive” use of native American imagery, only to realize that the very name of the state they’ve entered is based on the use of another word for “Sioux?” lamented Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton. “The state itself is named after the same bigoted terminology which ignited this issue due to its divisive nature. We simply must reconsider their membership.”
North Dakota’s State Board of Higher Education and its president Grant Shaft emphatically support the proposal. “Our tenured academics have been behind this Politically Correct crusade from Day One,” he explains. “Besides, it helps draw people’s attention away from our institutions getting caught inflating enrollment numbers, presidents of numerous state institutions being forced to resign, NDSU’s secret ownership of a private aircraft used in our lobbying efforts, and our demands for more funding and tuition increases even as our appropriations continue to skyrocket. This is good for the state’s higher education cartel on so many levels.”
While efforts to support the name “North Dakota” have stalled on the politically turbulent Standing Rock Reservation, more than two thirds of Spirit Lake tribe’s membership have come out and voted in favor of keeping the state name. A lawsuit to save the name “North Dakota” and prevent millions of globes and maps from becoming obsolete, while standing up for native pride, is in the works. Oddly, open records requests by the tribes have been largely ignored or stalled until it’s too late to draft testimony to the upcoming legislative special session. Frank Black Cloud is not surprised. “ They are simply repeating the same pattern of ignoring us when it comes to our name and likeness; a pattern which has been evident throughout the entire issue,” he said in a public meeting.
While states with enough money to push back are being largely ignored, as they were in the Fighting Sioux Logo instance, smaller states with names such as South Dakota are watching with keen interest. Even though the vast majority of North Dakotans take great pride in the name of their state, the legislature is already working to repeal legislation declaring the state’s name as “North Dakota.” Democrat David O’Connel lamented, “We gave it our best to stand up to and overcome the intimidation and abuse of power of the NCAA. But it is now time to repeal the law. It is no longer about preserving heritage, or defending ND culture. It is about safeguarding a strong future for our state along with its students and athletics."
(While obviously a parody, it makes one wonder...how far will this crusade against North Dakota go? Some of the quotes in this article are REAL - can you discern them from the parodies?
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They're at it again: according to this article in the Bismarck Tribune, a group of Native American students at UND has filed a lawsuit against pretty much everybody they could name in order to stop the use of the UND Fighting Sioux logo and nickname. There's ONE thing you need to know about this entire controversy, and it's characterized neatly within the text of the Tribune story:
"The eight students named in the lawsuit are not members of the two Sioux tribes in North Dakota..."
There you have it. This entire controversy was sparked when a bunch of out-of-state liberals at the NCAA decided that the logo and nickname, granted to the college approximately forty years ago, were "hostile and abusive." I've got a little graphic for ya:
Other states have won this fight; they simply need to stand up to these nutjob activists. This fight is about principle as much as it is about the darn logo. It's interesting how big institutions with greater numbers to play with have been removed from the "hostile and abusive" list while poor little UND has been hammered at relentlessly, an easy target due to its fewer resources to resist this Politically Correct™ tyranny. This fight is every bit as much about telling out-of-state activists to take a hike as it is to keep our beloved logo.
But if the logo's got to go, I've got an alternative:
With a few simple modifications, we could be come the Valiant White Men. This could honor the traditions and hard-working spirit of the state's largely German, Norwegian, Scandinavian, and other caucasian populations whose ancestors faced bitter trials to settle this great land.
Not only could we honor the pioneer spirit, then we could let every OTHER minority have a piece of the victimhood game. Right now it's just one group of sniveling activists mad about the UND logo and nickname. Think how many groups could come out of the woodwork and get their 15 minutes of fame if we had a logo and nickname that honors the majority of the population of our great state!
Of course, I say all this in the name of satire to highlight how silly the "controversy" is. I see people say online and hear in the halls of the state legislature that the issue is a "waste of time" and that there are more important issues than just a logo. For the last time in this post, I will reiterate that this is about more than just a logo and nickname. This is about standing up to out-of-state busy-body activism in the name of "politically correct" tyranny. If this is the front on which this battle will be waged, then let's fight it with the bravery and tenacity of the Fighting Sioux.
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I suppose that in the interest of consistency, the NCAA would have to find a way to ban the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe from something? I mean, since a bunch of busybody, politically-correct, out-of-state liberals know what's best for us hicks out here in flyover country, shouldn't they at least be consistent?
Let's not forget how these people view the Native American people they claim to be looking out for. When the Spirit Lake Nation voted to support the UND Fighting Sioux logo and nickname, these same politically-correct types claimed it was because they were uneducated.
The NCAA started this whole sorry mess but have been reluctant to actually let the tribes have a say in the matter. The State Board of Higher Education is doing the tribes a similar disservice in trying to sweep this decision through without giving the people of Standing Rock a chance to give their input. Who's being "hostile and abusive" to Native American people here? Clearly it isn't the UND fans.
I was able to thank Klaus Lembke in person the other day for making a motion to reconsider the SBHE decision to go ahead with retiring the nickname. Nobody had the sack to second the motion. I wish there were more voices of reason in this matter. If the people of Standing Rock are okay with referring to themselves as a Sioux tribe, then perhaps the hand-wringing liberals could chill out and show some respect to the people they claim to be trying to protect.
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The most important UND Fighting Sioux interview you could hear all week - and fire up that email program
Media reports I've seen have allowed the State Board of Higher Education to try to hang the retirement of the UND Fighting Sioux logo and nickname around the neck of the Standing Rock Sioux nation. This is not the case; rather, a select group of unelected bureaucrats have made this decision on their own.
Archie Fool Bear, a member of tribal government, was on the Scott Hennen show last week and shed some light on the situation that puts to rest the lie that the nickname and logo are "hostile and abusive" as well as the idea that the tribe is responsible for last week's hasty decision:
In an article in the Star Tribune which no longer appears online, reporter Katherine Kersten pointed out that most of the people "offended" by the logo are not Native Americans. She also had a very telling quote by Mr. Fool Bear:
Members of the Standing Rock judicial committee visited UND early in 2006 to assess the situation for themselves. "We spoke to everyone, from students on the street to people at the gas station," says Fool Bear. "Not one gave us any evidence of racism. We went to a hockey game, and they talked about the courage and integrity of the Sioux people. We looked at each other like, 'Wow, we don't even honor our Sioux warriors or veterans like this on the reservation.' "
White Mountain recalls the committee's meeting with a UND group that opposes the name. "I asked them, 'What tribe do you belong to?' " he says. "Not one was a Sioux Indian."This group insisted that the name promotes racism on campus," adds Fool Bear. "I told them, 'Put any instances of abuse in writing.' Today, I'm still waiting -- I haven't gotten one complaint."
If anything is "hostile and abusive" at UND, it's the way that some activists treat Indian students who take a different view.
"Our young people go there to get an education," says Fool Bear. "When they arrive, they're asked, 'What do you think of the logo?' If they have no problem with it, they are badgered and harassed for four years."
I still maintain that this whole "hostile and abusive" nonsense is simply a pet project by a bunch of busybody liberals. The tribe plans to go ahead with its petitions to get a vote on support of the logo before November if possible. I hope we can still turn this around and save our University's logo and nickname!
By the way, please take a few minutes to (politely) voice your opinions to the unelected members of the State Board of Higher Education for this ludicrous decision:
President Richie Smith: email@example.com
Vice President Jon Backes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Andrews: email@example.com
Duaine Espegard: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachelle Hadland: email@example.com
Michael Haugen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant Shaft: email@example.com
Claus Lembke: firstname.lastname@example.org
When you write to Claus Lembke you really should thank him for his motion to reconsider last week. He actually gets it, apparently. Sadly, none of these other folks would second his motion and it went nowhere. Instead they went ahead and chose to retire the logo against the will of the tribes. Oh, how I wish we could vote (most of) these people off the SBHE, but they're all appointed!
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