The University of North Dakota officially dropped its Fighting Sioux nickname yesterday after a recent state-wide vote showed overwhelming support for changing the moniker. This is the third time that the University of North Dakota has dropped the nickname and Indian head logo.
A massive number of North Dakota residents voted during Tuesday’s primary election—the most the state has seen in fifty years. Over two-thirds of the ballots cast were in favor of retiring the Fighting Sioux nickname.
The nickname dispute spanned decades and has led to lawsuits and the threat of NCAA sanctions. The nickname was first retired in December 2010 after the university failed to gain the support of the two Sioux tribes in North Dakota, as per the NCAA settlement agreement. The moniker was un-retired in March 2011 when a bill requiring the university to use the nickname was passed by state lawmakers.
University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley said of Tuesday’s vote, “It is time to move forward, and I think the voters, the citizens of North Dakota, gave us that permission.”
“It’s my goal now to bring everyone back into the house,” he said.
In an effort to allow tensions to dissipate, the University of North Dakota will not choose a new nickname until 2015.