Former and future UND athletes weigh in on nickname reversalFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The news has many local UND alumni excited and hopeful about the possibility of restoring tradition at the Grand Forks university.
The news has many local UND alumni excited and hopeful about the possibility of restoring tradition at the Grand Forks university.
When it comes to Fighting Sioux pride and tradition, it doesn't get any bigger than the University's seven time national champion men's hockey team. Former and future players who we talked to today are excited about the recent change in this tumultuous turn of events.
John Marks – Force Coach/Former UND Player: “I just think it's so petty at time, you still have the Washington Redskins, ya know?”
First-year Fargo Force coach John Marks knows all about the Fighting Sioux Tradition. The Manitoba native and former NHL All-Star played for UND from 1967 to 1970.
John Marks: “I just hope all this hard work by the people that are collecting these petition signatures all comes to fruition because I'm pretty proud of being a Fighting Sioux.”
And the connection doesn't stop there. He's currently coaching two future Fighting Sioux Hockey players, goalie Zane Gothberg and forward Bryn Chyzyk.
Zane Gothberg – Playing for UND in Fall: “It's just been tradition there, a lot of the student body gets really involved, whether it's dressing up for games or just doing stuff like that. It's pretty huge.”
Bryn Chyzyk – Playing in UND in Fall: “You grow up and you know about the Sioux and all the great players that played there, so to stick with that tradition would be great.”
For these future freshman it's more than just a nickname, but they'll play hockey for the green and white no matter what they're called.
Zane Gothberg: “If it does go our way that would be great, but if it doesn't, ya know, in our hearts we'll still be called the Fighting Sioux.”
This all began in 2006 when the NCAA asked 19 schools with American Indian names to change or get tribal approval. The only schools left are Florida State, Central Michigan and now once again, UND.