Matt Magness, Fargo, Published May 13 2012
Carlson should clean up his messI am a Sioux fan and disappointed with the inevitability of having to retire the University of North Dakota nickname.
However, I am more disappointed with the way Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, and his ego have made a legal mess of the process and jeopardized the near future for the UND athletic department. The state Board of Higher Education and UND administration had spent years engaged with the NCAA, exhausting all arguments to retain the Fighting Sioux nickname. I applaud their efforts, and yet the NCAA was not deterred.
Then, as if riding a white horse and apparently feeling our board and UND administration were inadequate to the task, Carlson spearheaded getting the Legislature involved. That was when he created the current mess. Then, when the NCAA
didn’t cave to the Legislature’s law to keep the nickname (surprise, surprise), he refused to fix his own mess by introducing legislation to reverse the damage done.
Now the dominoes continue to fall to further complicate the process and do damage to the university, the student athletes and reputation of the state at large – never mind the recent and growing legal bill.
Our legislative representatives – especially those with substantial experience – are supposed to demonstrate insightful, calm, reasoned leadership. Carlson’s grand-standing and ego (and lack of respect for the higher ed board and UND leaders) created a bigger mess of the situation.
The least I would expect is that “when you make a mess, you work hard to clean it up.” In this case, that’s not happening.