The University of North Dakota has released their list of finalist names to replace Fighting Sioux, the name the NCAA forced the school to drop in 2012; part of the NCAA’s crackdown on Native American mascots in use without permission from the tribe.
According to an article in The Bismarck Tribune, the school has narrowed the list to 15:
The committee kept “Blaze,” “Force,” “Fighting Green,” “North Stars,” “Sundogs,” “Thunder Hawks,” “North Dakota,” “Cavalry,” “Explorers,” “Fighting Hawks,” “Green Hawks,” “Nodaks,” “Pride,” “Roughriders” and “Spirit” for consideration.
“North Dakota” is included as a no nickname option, something the college has been using since Fighting Sioux was retired.
Of the list, “Fighting Green” stands out to me as the best way to link to the name of the past but it’s a tricky name to design a brand around, and while “North Dakota North Stars” sounds redundant it’d be fun to have that old NHL nickname back in use again. Really, any of (those two plus) Green Hawks, Fighting Hawks, Thunder Hawks, or Roughriders would work well in my opinion.
“I kind of like the ‘Spirit,’ as kind of the spirit of North Dakota,” Committee Chairman and UND alumnus Karl Goehring said. “It just sticks out a little bit to me.”
So this can really go either way.