University of North Dakota Athletics finally has a name again: Fighting Hawks.
In 2005, the NCAA began sanctioning schools with logos and names deemed "hostile and abusive." The North Dakota Fighting Sioux were on the list, and for the next seven years, debate on the nickname and logo imagery raged on. The university attempted to gain approval from North Dakota's two state tribes: the Spirit Lake Tribe and the Standing Rock Sioux. The Spirit Lake Tribe allowed the name, but the Standing Rock Sioux issued a no-vote.
In June 2012, the moniker and logo were finally retired, but the university punished itself by prohibiting a new name until 2015.
After more than three years with a blank space, the university will adopt "Fighting Hawks" immediately. The five name finalists were Fighting Hawks, Roughriders, Nodaks, Sundogs and North Stars. A ballot open to UND students, staff and alums produced 27,378 votes, with the Fighting Hawks edging the Roughriders in a runoff.
— Univ of North Dakota (@myUND) November 18, 2015
"I think this name underscores the tremendous competitive spirit of our athletic teams, our student athletes and the entirety of the University of North Dakota, expressing our state spirit and the fact that UND continues to ascend to new heights on a daily basis," says University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley.
The nickname issue has cost the school "in the high $200,000 range," according to Susan Walton, vice president for university and public affairs.
The original Fighting Sioux head logo was established in the 1930s and redesigned in 1999.
Fans of the CFL's former team, the Ottawa Rough Riders, are perhaps disappointed the name is not being revived.