SI PLAYERS, NOV.
When the NCAA
banned its members from using "hostile" and "abusive" Native
American nicknames or mascots in 2005, most of the 18 schools affected by the
ruling changed their logos. North Dakota, home of the Fighting Sioux, was not
one of them. Last fall North Dakota sued the NCAA and won a temporary order
allowing it to continue using Fighting Sioux imagery while the case moved
through court. Last week the case was settled: North Dakota can keep its
nickname for three more years but must drop it if the Spirit Lake Sioux and
Standing Rock Sioux tribes don't approve its use after 2010.
settlement confirms that the Sioux people—and no one else—should decide whether
and how their name should be used," NCAA senior vice president Bernard
Franklin said. That's bad news for North Dakota, which has spent an estimated
$2 million—most of it paid by private donors—on the lawsuit. Leaders of both
Sioux tribes have said they oppose the nickname; the settlement may breed
further resentment. Said Ron His Horse Is Thunder, the chairman of the Standing
Rock tribe, "This takes the onus off UND ... and it puts all the pressure
on tribes and tribal councils to somehow change their minds."