Here’s some interesting news in the world of college sports that you may not have heard of before today. The University of North Dakota athletics program has been without a mascot since they dropped their Fighting Sioux nickname three years ago. It now seems like the university could be close to picking a new nickname.
According to College Basketball Talk, North Dakota has been searching for a new nickname since 2012 when they dropped the Fighting Sioux after the NCAA threatened sanctions if the name was not dropped — it sounds like the Washington Redskins are not the only ones with nickname troubles.
An eleven-person name selection committee has cut a list of more than 1,100 possible names to just fifteen.
Some of the names included on the list are: Fighting Green, Calvary, Pride and North Stars. One name that has made the finalists is not a nickname at all, North Dakota, meaning the teams would have no mascot or nickname, is a strong possibility. Committee Chairman and North Dakota Karl Goehring alumnus talked with the Grand Forks Herald about his personal favorite.
“I kind of like the ‘Spirit,’ as kind of the spirit of North Dakota. It just sticks out a little bit to me.”
The North Dakota men’s basketball team is one of the winningest teams in Division II history and have just only recently made the jump to Division I. The team made six Elite Eight appearances in Division II and have won the National Third Place Game twice.
The school made the jump to the Great West Conference in 2008 and have resided in the Big Sky Conference since 2012. The team has made the CIT Tournament the last four seasons, but have yet to make it out of the first round. Maybe the new nickname will finally help them get over the hump.
My personal top three nicknames are Pride, although that could combat with the Bison of North Dakota State, Roughriders and Calvary. What are your favorites? Let us know in the comment section below.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports