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Kevin Schnepf, Published September 27 2009

Schnepf: Finding UND a new nickname will be tricky

Thursday is the supposed deadline for the University of North Dakota to get the support it needs to retain its Sioux nickname.

Under a settlement with the mighty NCAA, which considers Indian nicknames racist, UND needs to win the support of both the state’s Sioux tribes. Only one tribe has voted to support the nickname so far.

North Dakota’s state Higher Board of Education has set Thursday for the final deadline. I have the feeling this is not final – and the great Sioux debate will continue until the ultimate deadline of November of 2010 set by the NCAA.

But just in case the Sioux logo does disappear, I have come up with some new nickname options – all currently being used and apparently accepted by the mighty NCAA.

After all, the last thing we want to do here is offend the mighty NCAA.

How about a nickname depicting the strengths of the school:

Austin Peay has the Governors. How about the UND Lawyers?

The Medics. It’s already being used by Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Names to honor the Aerospace program are endless: Flyers, Golden Flyers, Flying Fleet, Flying Dutchmen, Jets, Pilots, Captains and even the Flying Queens.

Maybe a nickname representing the upper Red River Valley landscape:

Prairie Stars. University of Illinois-Springfield has it.

Palm Beach Atlantic University has the Sailfish. Why not the Catfish?

Five colleges use the Highlanders. Why not the Flatlanders?

Central Arkansas has the Sugar Bears. Why not the Sugar Beets?

The Nebraska Cornhuskers. How about the UND Beetpickers?

Iowa State Cyclones. UND Blizzard?

Florida Southern Mocassins. UND Snowshoes?

Maybe a nickname honoring a famous alumnus:

Buffalo Wild Wings, for Sally J. Smith, president and CEO of the popular wing chain.

San Francisco has the Dons, so why not the Phils – for Phil Jackson, of course.

Pomeroys, for UND alum and U.S. Senator Earl Pomeroy. Believe it or not, the Pomeroys is already used by St. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana.

Color scheme is always an option:

Lehigh Brown and White. UND Green and White?

How about the Green Terror? McDaniel College in Maryland has it.

How about Mean Green? North Texas has it.

Pacific University is known as the Boxers. UND could be known as the Whitie Tighties.

O.K. We got a bit silly. Par for the course, I guess, in this never-ending debate.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549 or at kschnepf@forumcomm.com