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FIGHTING HAWKS LOGO: Athletes have mixed reactions

Chelsea Moser saw her work through to the end. The volleyball player, who spent hours this winter as a student representative on the UND Nickname Committee, stood in UND's new High Performance Center and watched interim president Ed Schafer unvei...

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Chelsea Moser saw her work through to the end.

The volleyball player, who spent hours this winter as a student representative on the UND Nickname Committee, stood in UND's new High Performance Center and watched interim president Ed Schafer unveil the new Fighting Hawks logo-the end of the lengthy process to develop a new name and logo.

"When we got the new name originally, no one knew what to think," Moser said. "It was just Hawks. You had this word floating around. Now, there's an identity and an image and I think that's exciting."

Reactions to the new logo were polarizing, as expected.

Head coach Bubba Schweigert, speaking at the press conference, said that his program will universally embrace the new logo and put it on the side of the helmets for the upcoming season. It will be the first time since the 1960s that UND hasn't had an interlocking 'ND' on the side of its helmet.

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Some players attended the logo announcement, which was held at the football team's practice facility.

"I love it," UND linebacker and team captain Connor O'Brien said. "I think the guys are pretty excited about the new logo. We'll still embrace old traditions-always have-and continue to work hard and maintain that positive attitude with whatever we're doing."

Moser, who will be a senior this upcoming season, said: "When I saw it, I liked that they incorporated the 'ND' into it. Like anything new, it'll take some time to get used to, but overall, I really like it."

UND men's basketball standout Geno Crandall wrote on Twitter: "Welp, it ain't bad. Ain't good, but it ain't bad."

ESPN's John Buccigross wrote on Twitter that he liked the logo, but thought it looked "horrible" as the primary logo on the front of a hockey jersey. He said the logo was for "hats, visors, shoulders or calendars."

The men's and women's hockey programs, which were the most closely tied to the old Fighting Sioux logo and favored returning to "Nodaks" as the nickname, were the most critical of the new logo.

Former UND forward Brendan O'Donnell wrote: "Regardless of what the new logo was I was going to have a hard time liking it but this is just brutal, looks like Microsoft word clip art."

Former standout defenseman Troy Stecher wrote: "You ask for our opinions/input on the name and logo and we were ignored. This is how you respect our school's history and tradition?"

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It wasn't unanimously rejected by hockey players, though. Former captain Mitch Vig changed his Twitter profile picture to the new logo.

Head men's hockey coach Brad Berry, who led his team to the national championship this season, was asked about embracing the new Fighting Hawks logo.

"We've been here 130 years. UND has been called the Nodaks, the Flickertails, the Fighting Sioux and now the Fighting Hawks," Berry said. "Transition and change happen in life and it's about moving forward. We've had success because of the players we've brought into our community and team. We have to keep bringing in players with those same attributes to continue to have success. The most important thing is the player inside that uniform.

"It's another step in the process of the transition. It brings some concreteness to the nickname. We want to remain true to what we are. We built a tradition and history at North Dakota and that's what we want to keep doing."

Related Topics: UND SPORTS
Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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