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Evil Doctor

NCAA sanctions North Dakota

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I think its one of those things where both sides are taking it way too seriously.

The use of offensive native american names was a problem in sports and there are still traces of it today. The Cleveland Indians logo is one of the most racist things I've ever seen. The Washington Redskins and Atlanta Braves are not that far behind either. I would be all for those names getting changed ASAP. I don't care how much history they may carry and that's the only reason these names are even still in use. If a Native American were to get offended over it I can't say he or she wouldn't have a point.

But if its done in a tasteful fashion as I think the Fightning Sioux name has been done then I can't see it being as big of an issue.

That being said thought I do think to make it a state law is a bit much. As I said before I do think it was and still is in many ways a legitimate issue that many people have every bit the right to be upset over and if enough really do feel that way then just give it a rest and move on even if you don't fully understand why. North Dakota athletics will be fine with or without the name. On that side of the fence I see people trying to make a bigger deal out of it then it really is and in most cases not having a full understanding of why people are really upset over it.

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I think a better discussion in here would be what should UND or the state of North Dakota do if the voters decide the nickname will stay.

I, for one, would like to see the North Dakota congressional delegation push for anti-monopoly hearings on the NCAA. Because, let's be honest -- the NCAA is a monopoly. Yes, UND could go to the NAIA, but that really isn't viable. I'm sure there are others in congress who would like to see anti-monopoly hearings or even laws passed against the NCAA.

Plus, there's still the lawsuit by the Spirit Lake tribe against the NCAA. I don't know where that will go, but it will be interesting to follow.

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I think a better discussion in here would be what should UND or the state of North Dakota do if the voters decide the nickname will stay.

I, for one, would like to see the North Dakota congressional delegation push for anti-monopoly hearings on the NCAA. Because, let's be honest -- the NCAA is a monopoly. Yes, UND could go to the NAIA, but that really isn't viable. I'm sure there are others in congress who would like to see anti-monopoly hearings or even laws passed against the NCAA.

Plus, there's still the lawsuit by the Spirit Lake tribe against the NCAA. I don't know where that will go, but it will be interesting to follow.

You assume that athletics at the collegiate level are a necessary part of a university's functions.

Why wouldn't the NAIA be viable? Is it because that organization's not as strong as the NCAA? Well so what? UND's primary focus should be as a centre of higher learning. Sports are just extra. So ultimately going to the NAIA, or even dropping university athletics all together, wouldn't hamper what should be the institution's primary focus.

That's what I, and others, means when we say the NCAA is a completely voluntary organization. The UND is under no obligation to participate in it, or any other inter-university athletic organization. Yet they've chosen to participate in it, which is fine, but it means they ought to abide by that organization's rules and bylaws.

Opting to join a voluntary organization and then bitching about that organization's rules to the point that you're willing to go to court over it is a prime example of sleazy, underhanded behaviour.

The legislator of North Dakota and the University's administration aren't being honourable, they're being childish and underhanded. That's what you call it when you join a voluntary club and then stomp your feet and whine about its rules, while still insisting you be allowed to stay in it.

And STL, I think it's high time you realize that this is not the Chief Illiniwek/University of Illinois situation. The very fact that the Sioux people of North Dakota still exist while the Illini don't makes the situation around this case extremely different from the one that surrounded your alma mater.

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Ice, that's fairly irrelevant to everything I've been saying. I haven't been talking in specifics for a reason.

I have a problem with the NCAA policy as a whole and the way in which they've announced it and enforced it.

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Durrr.... howcome no one ever says Notre Dame's logo is racist?

I can only speak for myself, but I have no problem with Notre Dame's logo because it is a depiction of a leprechaun... a fictional creature.

The Notre Dame logo does have a lot of similarities to the racist caricatures that were used to dehumanize the Irish in the late 19th/early 20th century. That said, I was mainly making fun of the people who used the knee-jerk Notre Dame argument in situations like this.

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The legislator of North Dakota and the University's administration aren't being honourable, they're being childish and underhanded. That's what you call it when you join a voluntary club and then stomp your feet and whine about its rules, while still insisting you be allowed to stay in it.

Exactly.

And the fact that they're disregarding the wishes of one of the tribes at the same time makes it, as you say, sleazy. Tell me again how the intent is to "honor" them when the wish of half the tribes is being dismissed out of hand.

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Disregarding the wishes of the tribes? Hmmm. Isn't the NCAA disregarding the wishes of the Spirit Lake tribe?

We don't know what the wishes of the Standing Rock tribe is because the council hasn't allowed a vote by tribal members.

And the Sisseton-Wahpeton tribe, which is also partly in North Dakota, hasn't even been allowed to have any say on this.

Now, let's move forward. I asked before and I'll ask again -- what should be done if there is a vote, and if voters decide the nickname will stay?

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I believe I've answered that question before, but in any case it deserves an answer again: absolutely nothing. Such a vote would be meaningless.

The voters don't have any say in the matter, any more than they could hold a referendum requiring Disney to make Bugs Bunny cartoons.

The two tribes have to both agree to license the name. Unless and until that happens (as much as I would like it to happen), the University cannot use it. No matter how many tantrums the legislators throw or how many votes are held by people who aren't in either of the tribes.

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We don't know what the wishes of the Standing Rock tribe is because the council hasn't allowed a vote by tribal members.

That you're still making this argument shows that you either lack an understanding in the principals of representative democracy or you're just flat out ignoring them as you yell "lalala I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Harsh? Maybe, but I'm tried of having people make this argument as if they haven't picked up a civics textbook.

The Standing Rock tribe is a representative democracy. They elect their leaders to represent them in the decision making processes. Those leaders made a decision on this matter, one that denied the University of North Dakota the approval it needed to use the Fighting Sioux name. This decision, because it came from the elected representatives of the Standing Rock Tribe, is recognized to be representative of the tribe as a whole. Just like how the US Congress doesn't put every issue it discusses to a nation wide referendum, it's decisions are recognized to represent the nation as a whole.

The Standing Rock government is under no legal obligation to hold a referendum on the issue. They were elected to make these decisions on behalf of their entire tribe. The University of North Dakota and its supporters just choose to ignore that. Instead they act like children.

Now, let's move forward. I asked before and I'll ask again -- what should be done if there is a vote, and if voters decide the nickname will stay?

Depends on the vote in question. If it's the state wide vote, well it cannot force anything. Again, a state-wide referendum cannot force a private, voluntary organization like the NCAA to change its rules.

Now if the vote shows that a majority of the Standing Rock people wish for the school to keep the nickname, then it may persuade that elected leadership of the Standing Rock tribe to hold a referendum. If it does, then the results of that vote will be what they are, and hopefully that will put an end to all of this if it happens. Still, that would only be a side effect of the referendum. A legitimate vote coming from a powerless one. Even then though, the Standing Rock tribe would still be under no legal obligation to hold a tribe wide referendum. Even if a state wide referendum confirmed that the tribe, by and large, is ok with the school keeping the name.

The only way that the current situation can change is if the people of the Standing Rock tribe, assuming they're ok with UND using the Fighting Sioux name, either force their elected officials to hold a referendum or if they vote out the current leadership in favour of leadership that will grant the school the permission they need. Either way a state wide referendum is in and of itself powerless to change anything. Which is why it's a childish, immature waste of tax dollars (in this economy no less). The only way things change is if the people of the Standing Rock tribe use the democratic political process to change things. That's how representative democracy, ultimately, works itself out. If they don't force said change then we have to take the current Standing Rock government's stance on the matter as being representative of the whole tribe.

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The referendum is not a powerless vote. The referendum will likely decide whether the University of North Dakota continues use of the name or not.

The NCAA cannot force them to discontinue use. It can only levy punishments upon them for its use. As of now those punishments may be at a level the people of North Dakota are comfortable dealing with in exchange for continued use of the name.

Again, the NCAA cannot dictate the actions of a member institution. It can punish (or even kick out at its most extreme level). But the people who run the university are the board and ultimately the citizens of the state.

So the idea that the referendum is meaningless is hogwash. It means everything. It is the decision of the University. The NCAA will then be able to react to that. At present, it seems they already have in restating the punishments that UND is presently subject to.

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The referendum is not a powerless vote. The referendum will likely decide whether the University of North Dakota continues use of the name or not.

The NCAA cannot force them to discontinue use. It can only levy punishments upon them for its use. As of now those punishments may be at a level the people of North Dakota are comfortable dealing with in exchange for continued use of the name.

That's all well and good, but it's short term thinking. "We're willing to accept what the punishments are today, so lets continue to break the rules." That's the kind of thinking that gets a kid in deeper trouble at school. He's willing to stay after school for detention so he continues to break the rules until it gets to the point that, because he was comfortable with the previous level of punishment, he's now broken enough rules to warrant suspension or expulsion.

The NCAA not only has to the right to enforce its own internal rules, it has an obligation to, in order to give its rules substance, to ensure that they're followed. UND might be content to use the Fighting Sioux name and carry the punishments that come with it today, but will they in five years or so? The NCAA will eventually raise the level of punishment if the UND doesn't comply and drop the name. Not because it's a power hungry organization, but because like any body of authority it has to, in order for their rules and punishments to carry any weight.

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If the people of North Dakota vote to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname, it would continue to be state law. UND is forced to abide by state law ahead of NCAA regulations.

So I'm asking what would happen if the voters vote to keep the name? What would UND be able to do? Should the North Dakota congressional delegation press the matter further with anti-monopoly hearings on the NCAA? What should be done?

And I'm asking you to be nice about this. Please, no more stuff like, "If the people of North Dakota or so stupid ..." or any other nastiness. This is a very touchy subject. Please, let's treat it that way.

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If they do keep the name, they might as well push the case all the way to the top... Yeah, the Supreme Court of the United States.

It seems that this is about a state law vs. a rule from an association that is pushing a ruling that is considered 'unfair'.

Will they win? Maybe, maybe not... But, by pushing the case this far, UND can show the country that you can fight the NCAA and possibly win.

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The referendum is not a powerless vote. The referendum will likely decide whether the University of North Dakota continues use of the name or not.

The NCAA cannot force them to discontinue use. It can only levy punishments upon them for its use. As of now those punishments may be at a level the people of North Dakota are comfortable dealing with in exchange for continued use of the name.

That's all well and good, but it's short term thinking. "We're willing to accept what the punishments are today, so lets continue to break the rules." That's the kind of thinking that gets a kid in deeper trouble at school. He's willing to stay after school for detention so he continues to break the rules until it gets to the point that, because he was comfortable with the previous level of punishment, he's now broken enough rules to warrant suspension or expulsion.

The NCAA not only has to the right to enforce its own internal rules, it has an obligation to, in order to give its rules substance, to ensure that they're followed. UND might be content to use the Fighting Sioux name and carry the punishments that come with it today, but will they in five years or so? The NCAA will eventually raise the level of punishment if the UND doesn't comply and drop the name. Not because it's a power hungry organization, but because like any body of authority it has to, in order for their rules and punishments to carry any weight.

It may be short term thinking, but let me ask you this. If the University (or more accurately, the people of the state that runs the university) so strongly disagree with the NCAA's ruling, and they've exhausted all the more reasonable negotiating/appeals options with the NCAA (which they have), what other choice do they have?

To me they have three choices.

1 - Go against their own desires and beliefs and succumb to the NCAA rules.

2 - Withdraw from the NCAA.

3 - Decide they will stick to their guns and accept the consequences.

I know you think they should probably do #1, but the point is they so adamantly disagree with the ruling that they're unwilling to give in to outside pressure that goes against their own beliefs. They believe in it that strongly. So that, at this point, isn't a real option.

I know you'd then say that #2 is what they ought to do, but you talked about short-sighted before. Well, that would be an awful business decision for them. They don't want to leave the only real and worthwhile collegiate athletics organization. Why demote their athletics programs so much if they don't have to?

So #3 it is. You can call it childish and all that all you want. But if they're determined to stick to their beliefs, then it's their only real option yet. You have to understand they spent 5 years trying to do things the "big boy" way with the NCAA, and it failed. This is their only option left.

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If the people of North Dakota vote to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname, it would continue to be state law. UND is forced to abide by state law ahead of NCAA regulations.

Do you deny that keeping the Fighting Sioux name was only made state law in an attempt for the University of North Dakota to get around NCAA regulations while still maintaining NCAA membership? That's what it seems like to me.

STL's right. They can use the name and keep their NCAA membership, so long as they're willing to accept the NCAA's penalties for doing so. However harsh they may get. That's what happens when join a club but refuse to play by the rules, you get punished. The NCAA's not being sinister in this regard. They're acting like any other organization ever by enforcing their rules by penalizing their members who don't abide by them.

What the state's doing? Pointless grandstanding. It is, as the Borg say, irrelevant.

So I'm asking what would happen if the voters vote to keep the name? What would UND be able to do? Should the North Dakota congressional delegation press the matter further with anti-monopoly hearings on the NCAA? What should be done?

The state cannot change NCAA regulations. If the state "insists" that the UND use the Fighting Sioux name even if it violates the NCAA's regulations, then the school's free to leave the NCAA.

As for "anti-monopoly hearings," it's a load of bull. Sorry. The NCAA's not US Steel or Standard Oil. They're an organization that oversees the, to put it bluntly, trivial activity that is inter-collegiate sports. Not an organization that has a stranglehold on an industry the nation as a whole needs to survive.

It is because of this triviality that the notions of "anti-monopoly hearings" is insane. I asked you this before, and you declined to answer, so I ask you again. Why can't the University of North Dakota leave the NCAA for the NAIA? The NAIA may not be as well financed or as well connected, but so what? The UND's primary focus should be as a centre of higher learning. Sports are an extra, something that's not vital to what should be the central concern of the school. So with that in mind there's really nothing, in the grand scheme of things, keeping them from joining the NAIA. Sports should be something of a side activity, so there's no real downside to the school if they join a "lesser" athletic organization. That is, of course, if the school really does value its commitment to being an institution of learning above that of its athletic pursuits.

And I'm asking you to be nice about this. Please, no more stuff like, "If the people of North Dakota or so stupid ..." or any other nastiness. This is a very touchy subject. Please, let's treat it that way.

Your talk of either the UND or the North Dakotan state legislator pressing anti-monopoly charges against the NCAA really does strike me the wrong way here. Which is partly why I'm pressing the issue. Pressing such charges would be akin to joining a club you're under no obligation to join in the first place, and then complaining about their rules as you take them to court over it. It's sleazy and underhanded to agree to join an organization and then decide that rather then leave, you'll opt to destroy it when it makes internal rulings you disagree with.

As for being a touchy subject? It's the name of a school's athletic team. A little perspective, please. You're blowing this way out of proportion by painting the NCAA's regulations as a crime against the very soul of the state of North Dakota.

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The referendum is not a powerless vote. The referendum will likely decide whether the University of North Dakota continues use of the name or not.

The NCAA cannot force them to discontinue use. It can only levy punishments upon them for its use. As of now those punishments may be at a level the people of North Dakota are comfortable dealing with in exchange for continued use of the name.

That's all well and good, but it's short term thinking. "We're willing to accept what the punishments are today, so lets continue to break the rules." That's the kind of thinking that gets a kid in deeper trouble at school. He's willing to stay after school for detention so he continues to break the rules until it gets to the point that, because he was comfortable with the previous level of punishment, he's now broken enough rules to warrant suspension or expulsion.

The NCAA not only has to the right to enforce its own internal rules, it has an obligation to, in order to give its rules substance, to ensure that they're followed. UND might be content to use the Fighting Sioux name and carry the punishments that come with it today, but will they in five years or so? The NCAA will eventually raise the level of punishment if the UND doesn't comply and drop the name. Not because it's a power hungry organization, but because like any body of authority it has to, in order for their rules and punishments to carry any weight.

To me they have three choices.

1 - Go against their own desires and beliefs and succumb to the NCAA rules.

2 - Withdraw from the NCAA.

3 - Decide they will stick to their guns and accept the consequences.

I know you think they should probably do #1, but the point is they so adamantly disagree with the ruling that they're unwilling to give in to outside pressure that goes against their own beliefs. They believe in it that strongly. So that, at this point, isn't a real option.

I know you'd then say that #2 is what they ought to do, but you talked about short-sighted before. Well, that would be an awful business decision for them. They don't want to leave the only real and worthwhile collegiate athletics organization. Why demote their athletics programs so much if they don't have to?

So #3 it is. You can call it childish and all that all you want. But if they're determined to stick to their beliefs, then it's their only real option yet. You have to understand they spent 5 years trying to do things the "big boy" way with the NCAA, and it failed. This is their only option left.

Like I said above, athletic competition shouldn't be a primary focus of a university. The University of North Dakota's prime goal should be to be the best centre of higher learning as possible. If they disagree with the NCAA's rulings then leaving for a weaker athletic organization shouldn't be an issue. Athletics shouldn't the central concern of the school's administration. So leaving the NCAA for a weaker athletic conference shouldn't be that big of a concern to the school's administration if they feel they can no longer operate under the NCAA's regulations.

They're free to exist within the NCAA and use the Fighting Sioux name so long as they accept the penalties that come with that. If they accept those penalties then so be it. As long as they don't complain when those penalties, inevitably, get harsher.

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Well, as a member institution, they DO have the right to complain about the NCAA's policies and penalties. But the action they can take to challenge those things is limited if they're the only ones complaining. So I wouldn't say that they can't complain if/when the NCAA raises the penalties, but they do have to accept the situation for what it is and realize that ultimately the NCAA gets to do that.

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As for being a touchy subject? It's the name of a school's athletic team. A little perspective, please. You're blowing this way out of proportion by painting the NCAA's regulations as a crime against the very soul of the state of North Dakota.

But that's exactly the way many in North Dakota feel. I'm not blowing this way out of proportion. I'm just reporting the news here.

North Dakota has had a long history of feeling bullied around -- by railroad companies, by wheat millers, and now by the NCAA. Whether or not we're being bullied is moot -- it's how we feel. And you should understand that before making snap judgements.

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How ironic, then, that North Dakota has become the bully, willing to use the power of the state to prevent the tribes from exercising self-determination over the use of their own name.

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