Sunday, June 07, 2009

More lecturing from Fargo on the Fighting Sioux name.

As a Sioux fan living in Grand Forks, ND I always love when our friends from the Fargo Forum like to take the moral high ground and preach to us from their high horse. This instance is no different. It's another one of these my school/town is better than yours. Have we not been down this road before? Some might say it's the same old tired argument of Fargo versus Grand Forks, NDSU versus UND. I suppose I should put in the obligatory shot across the bow by saing, "you can’t have sucks without NDSU." But I digress.

I guarantee if the shoe were on the other foot and someone wanted to build NDSU a new basket ball arena to replace the one they have now and NDSU had some issue with their sports team's nick name I would be willing to bet the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education would have stepped in for NDSU and ran the defletion. Yeah; like NDSU wouldn’t taken a new sports complex if they had been in the same situation. If they say otherwise they are full of what they are shoveling in Fargo. This is just more of the same jealous of Grand Forks because our facilities aren’t as nice as theirs.

At the time in question the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education’s decision to usurp then-UND president Charles Kupchella, it was the right decision because President Kupchellas was not known for his great leadership skills was totally screwing up and in this situation. The board basically did him a favor so he didn’t have to fall on his sword. The Board probably saved his job as well. Seriously folks, it’s easy to sit in a glass house like Fredrick’s and Monday morning quarterback and this exactly what he is doing.

A belated redemption for UND ---- By: Martin Fredricks , West Fargo
A sad day for North Dakota,” Kris Engelstad McGarry called it. With all due respect to McGarry, many North Dakotans view it as a day of redemption when some sense was restored to a state that thrives on common sense.

McGarry, daughter of the late Ralph Engelstad, referred to the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education’s May 14 decision to accelerate the deadline for tribal approval of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux nickname. If the two North Dakota Sioux tribes do not approve 30-year agreements to support continued use of the name by October, UND must begin transitioning to a new moniker and symbol.

It is a belated redemption because the current board has taken a positive step to correct the action of the board of December 2000. That board inserted itself into the nickname/logo debate the day after Engelstad sent the now infamous “Dear Chuck” letter to then-UND president Charles Kupchella.

In the Dec. 20, 2000, letter, Engelstad wrote that he would halt work on the half-completed Ralph Engelstad Arena, what was destined to become the home of the UND hockey team, if the Sioux name and logo were not retained. At the time, he had invested $35 million into the $85 million project. He sent copies of the letter to members of the Board of Higher Education, which was set to meet the next day.

“Please do not consider this letter a threat in any manner, as it is not intended to be,” Engelstad wrote.

We North Dakotans tend to call things the way we see them, and that was what we call a threat. It was a strong one, at that, a gun held to the head of Kupchella, UND and North Dakota as a whole. When the board voted unanimously to retain the Sioux name and logo, it gave him the ammunition.

That was the real sad day for North Dakota, regardless of how you feel about the name issue. And there really is no need to add anything to that discussion.

What many North Dakotans didn’t like was the intimidation, and our loss of self-respect was even worse. Do as I say, Engelstad clearly told us, or you won’t get your hockey arena. This, to people who have fended for ourselves for generations. Who was Engelstad to tell us what we could or could not do? Surely, if UND needed a new arena that badly, funds could be raised in other ways from other people.

Unfortunately, the board apparently saw it another way and, with its 8-0 vote, sent a return letter to Engelstad with our pride enclosed.

By all accounts, the Engelstad Arena is a marvel, a monument to UND, its hockey team and Engelstad himself. But it cost us much more than the money it took to build.

In her comments, McGarry said she was not surprised by the “lack of conviction” of the state board and UND President Robert Kelly in fighting for the Sioux name and logo. On the contrary, their actions demonstrated a return to conviction, a restoration of the pride that will not allow North Dakota to be bullied, regardless of how much money is at stake. [link to the article]

From the comments this is one of the best ones that I have seen. I see I am not the only one that feels this way.
Garfield L. ---- Moorhead, MN 06/07/2009 8:56 AM

Its actually round 2 of und and the state board selling out. The Summit league snubs them and all of a sudden its a mad scramble to get the name changed so they can get into the Summit. Its a replay of the mad scramble to keep the name after Ralph's letter. Nothing like throwing away 80 years of tradition to get into one of the country's worst conferences. I find the whole thing comical. I also agree with John B - I don' t think there was any "we" anything.

BallHype: hype it up!

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