Fighting Sioux Nickname and Logo Back, For NowGRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The UND Women's Basketball team played the school's first game with the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo this evening.
By: Melanie Orlins, WDAZ
GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The UND Women's Basketball team played the school's first game with the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo this evening.
The petition triggered a repeal of the repeal bill. For now, UND is transitioning back to where it was a few months ago.
Tonight the Betty was packed with fans sporting their Fighting Sioux gear.
Now there were mixed feelings among those in the crowd, some wanting the nickname phased out, but others wanting the school to keep the name to support 80 years of tradition.
On Tuesday night, 16,000 signatures were turned into the state's attorney office. Now that UND is once again the Fighting Sioux, veteran athlete Waldon Jensen is nervous the whole debate could bring down the school's athletic program.
"I want the Sioux to have their name and I want UND to be UND and drop the name Sioux," said former hockey player, Waldon Jensen.
Jensen worries that petitioners aren't keeping the athletic recruiting system in mind. And he isn't the only one in fear. Former football player and current State Senator, Mac Schneider, was told by the Big Sky Commissioner -- UND will be dropped from the conference if they keep the nickname.
"Very little reason to continue offering membership to the University of North Dakota, those are very clear words, he does not beat around the bush and I fear that this petition has very serious consequences for the university of north dakota and its student athletes," said former football player, Mac Schneider.
"I don't see how we would progress as a division one program at that point in time from a scheduling perspective it would be impossible because of the division one requirements in basketball, volleyball would be the same way and football," said UND Athletic Director, Brian Faison.
"If we don't have a viable conference affiliation, we're not going to have anyone to play, we're not going to have teams, its as simple as that," said Schneider.
Although the university's future athletes are at stake, tonight, fans cheer for the Fighting Sioux.
Fans cheer, "GO SIOUX!"
"I just was happy as a lark that their name was coming back. It's what its been for years and thats what it should stay," said supporter of the nickname," Peggy Peterson.
But others still say the consequences are far too severe for the fight for the Fighting Sioux to continue.
"It'll keep on going forever and ever so drop it now," said Jensen.
Former players say some of their proudest moments were with the Fighting Sioux jersey, but they rather do away with the nickname in order to save the future for UND athletics.