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LETTER: For UND teams, ‘North Dakota’ works just fine

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We disagree with the editorial position of the Herald, which encourages UND to “pick up the pace” in finding a name for its sports teams (“UND should get after a new nickname,” Page A4, July 31).

The Herald calls UND’s process “tepid,” “timid” and “meek,” claiming the university is “tiptoeing around the issue.”

We think this is harsh criticism. We imagine the university is the least anxious of all to resuscitate the arguments that separated the pros from the cons. The statewide vote to drop the name Sioux was a concession that the NCAA forced on the public, but the vote was hardly a signal that people were ready to “move on.”

The Herald might be ready for another dust-up, but few others of us are.

What is more, as supporters of the Sioux name, we believe the Herald’s suggestion of finding a name that is “powerful,” “inspiring” and “recognizable” is a little naive. The fact is, there isn’t a single, solitary animal or bird totem or color (such as “Crimson”) that would serve as an adequate replacement for the name Sioux.

That was a name known and respected by all, one that immediately conveyed a sense of power and inspired players to greatness.

We suggest that UND continue the name “North Dakota” for its teams. Nothing more. No changes needed. It says who team players are, and it includes the campus community, the local, state and regional fans.

And it is, on its own merits, also a powerful name, easily recognized nationally and inspirational in its successes.

So, let’s not spend any time or energy to select a new nickname. The UND fight song lyrics already say, “... fight on North Dakota!”

Sounds great to us.

Hal and Kathy Gershman

Grand Forks

Hal Gershman is a former president of the Grand Forks City Council. Kathy Gershman is a professor of educational foundations and research at UND.

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