|University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux athletic logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald ---- Leaders of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation have scheduled news conferences in Grand Forks and other North Dakota cities Tuesday to launch a campaign in support of Measure 4 on the June 12 primary ballot.Immediately some will question Tim O’Keefe loyalty to Fighting Sioux Sports and to the nickname. There will be others that will say that O’Keefe was ordered by the UND administration to say this or call him and the others other alumni leaders in this campaign turn-coats or a toady. They might want to think again, O’Keefe does have credibility, he was a letter winner with the UND Hockey team back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Lastly, I would love to see someone tell former Viking fullback/tight end Jim Kleinsasser a sell out or a toady.
As it will appear on the ballot, approving the measure would reaffirm the Legislature’s repeal of a law requiring UND to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname, opening the way once again for the university to retire the name and associated Indian-head logo.
Tim O’Keefe, executive vice president of the UND Alumni Association, and Rick Burgum, chairman of the foundation, will join local UND alumni at the news conference in Grand Forks, Fargo, Bismarck and Minot.
O’Keefe, Burgum and other alumni leaders have spoken against efforts to retain the nickname, saying they fear serious consequences for UND’s athletics program and students athletes.