No-name North Dakota?
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — This is the time of the year when a Gopher will take on a Terrier, a Greyhound can get beat by an inanimate object like a Buckeye and there are more Lions, Tigers and Wildcats loose than any local zoo would know what to do with.
One source of the immense national interest in major college sports lies in the identity of the schools themselves, right down to the nickname.
But as the University of North Dakota starts the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament this weekend, the jerseys will look a little bare. The NCAA ban of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo — deemed “hostile and abusive” by the NCAA — has officially taken effect despite years of defiance and lingering legal challenges from proud supporters.
That means North Dakota will take the ice in St. Paul for its West Regional semifinal game against Western Michigan as, well, North Dakota. The team will don new jerseys without the nickname or the logo for the first time Saturday afternoon. Same for the uniforms of the cheerleaders and band members, too.