At the legislature, University of North Dakota officials showed up to testify against a bill introduced by Rep. Scott Louser which would extend the moratorium on the school picking a new nickname (that bill will get a vote on the floor of the state House this afternoon). They claimed – as credulous Grand Forks Herald reporter Anna Burleson reported uncritically – that keeping the moratorium in place would cost the school approximately $106,000 over the next biennium.
Which is a little hard to believe as that figure is made up of salary paid to permanent employees who would be on the payroll regardless of whether Louser’s bill passes or not.
What’s ironic is that the task force convened by the school to address to the transition to a new nickname – which has cost the school in excess of $120,000 – is recommending that no nickname be an option:
The plan recommends keeping the school’s current title, “UND/North Dakota,” as a permanent nickname option. The school has been using the name since the controversial Fighting Sioux name was retired in December 2012 after a drawn out legal battle and the NCAA threatened sanctions.
“Rather than saying ‘new’ nickname, we want to finalize a name,” task force co-chair and UND alumna Sheri Kleinsasser Stockmoe said.
I’m not surprised that this task force has reached the conclusion that no nickname is a valid option. Despite the braying from nickname opponents, who will not be satisfied until the logo/nickname are erased from the state’s history, a permanent moratorium on a new nickname seems like the most common sense path forward.
The anti-nickname activists get what they want, which is no Fighting Sioux logo/nickname.
The pro-nickname folks get what they want, which is no new nickname to replace the old.
And the people who are fed up with this whole debate get what they want, which is a permanent solution.
This sort of compromise won’t make everybody happy, but that’s the nature of compromise. Everyone has to give a little.