It’s been reported previously that Rep. Scott Louser, a Republican from Minot, would be filing a bill to extend the state’s moratorium on a new nickname at the University of North Dakota. Today Rep. Louser provided me with a draft copy of his bill. It’s not available online yet, but he says it will ultimately be numbered HB1155.
“I would suggest that no harm has been brought to the school by not having a nickname and while this solution gives nobody everything they may want, it is a compromise that many can agree to,” Louser told me of the legislation this morning.
As you can see below, it’s pretty simple stuff. It changes the date on the current moratorium from January 1, 2015, to July 1, 2017 (the end of the coming biennium).
This bill will be considered as UND spends an enormous amount of money deliberating on how to move on from the “Fighting Sioux” logo and nickname. A committee formed by the school has been holding public meetings all over the place (including in Minneapolis and Denver), and has racked up a six-figure bill along the way for meals and travel and not one but two consultants.
Because handling a sports nickname is clearly beyond the bloated, highly-paid administration current running our schools.
Their recommendation so far? Form another committee. What will that committee do? Make a non-binding recommendation to UND President Robert Kelley.
Let’s be clear: The “Fighting Sioux” nickname is never coming back. Any new nickname is likely to inspire hostility and resentment. Honestly, I think this moratorium is the best path forward.
No official nickname leaves a vacuum which fans of the school’s teams can fill with whatever nickname they’d like. Probably still the Sioux because, outside of a minority of hypersensitive activists with far too much time on their hands, most people don’t seem to have a problem with the name. Including most Sioux people based on what data we have available to us.
The only problem with Louser’s bill as far as I can see is that it doesn’t make the moratorium permanent. I don’t think UND has shown that they can handle this issue on their own in an efficient and practical matter. So why not just jettison the whole sorry charade and make the decision for them?