Buy Opening Night ticketsRyan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
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These former Sioux are Fighting mad SUGAR LAND, Texas -
Aeros Training Camp Report
The NCAA denied the University of North Dakotas appeal last week to remove restrictions on the teams mascot and nickname the Fighting Sioux.
Its not a move that comes without controversy. The NCAA said that the nickname provides a hostile or abusive environment, but other schools such as Florida State (Seminoles), Utah (Utes) and Central Michigan (Chippewas) were allowed to keep their nicknames. But several Sioux tribes in the area have leaned away from the university in recent years.
In the ruling, UND will be prohibited from hosting NCAA tournament events after this Marchs hockey regional. Also, team uniforms will have to have the logo and/or Fighting Sioux verbiage removed before participation in NCAA post-season events. There are more than 2,000 logos or Fighting Sioux references in Ralph Engelstad Arena alone.
The Aeros began camp with three former Fighting Sioux players on the roster, and they all weighed in on the subject. Bryan Lundbohm:
The thing thats frustrating is that you know that for every one person thats against it, there are probably three more for it, but theyre not the outspoken ones. The (Florida State) Seminoles fought it in Supreme Court and they won it.
That program has been around so long. The Sioux pride, everyone knows about. I dont know what theyd go with for another nickname. I think theyll still fight it a lot more. Its going to be hard to imagine covering up all those logos. Everywhere you look theres a Sioux head or a logo. Aaron Schneekloth (reassigned to Austin on Monday):
I think its definitely disappointing. There is a lot of pride and respect for the people who go to school there and for the athletes that play for the team. I think there will be some controversy. The players have a lot of pride and respect for the jersey and name.
Its going to cost the school a lot of money to do whatever is required. In the future, if you change the logo or name, its going to feel like a lot of the tradition is lost. Curtis Murphy:
I always liked the name Fighting Sioux. I think it honors them, but Im not of the Sioux nation. Being an ex-hockey player it was an honor to have logo on my chest and to be known as a Fighting Sioux hockey player and the programs legacy. Sioux stick together
For many pro hockey players, having a former teammate on their current team is something out of the ordinary.
For former North Dakota athletes, thats not the case. All three Aeros in camp Murphy, Lundbohm and Schneekloth have seen their share of Fighting Sioux in their careers.
My first year in South Carolina, there were four of us, Schneekloth said. Tim Skarperud in Grand Rapids. I had two guys in New Mexico with me last year. Every pro team Ive played on, Ive had former Fighting Sioux teammates.
Lundbohm said two seasons ago in Milwaukee he was also alongside two UND players Murphy and Tony Hrkac.
Everywhere you go theres somebody thats played for the program, Lundbohm said. Its pretty neat.
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