Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dear Fighting Sioux football team, 

Here's some bulletin board material for your game Saturday.
The NCAA News -- January 21, 2002
St. Cloud State CEO calls for increased attention to mascot issue
Roy H. Saigo, president of St. Cloud State University, asked Division II presidents to consider the issue of American Indian mascots and whether those mascots are appropriate in light of antidiscrimination policies, both at the university level and within the NCAA.

Saigo made his remarks at the Division II chief executive officers luncheon January 13.

"This is an issue we haven't talked about as presidents, and yet it's an issue that has caused a lot of consternation in our part of the world," Saigo said. "I bring it up not to attack anybody but simply to broaden the discussion."

Saigo made his remarks during an open forum portion of the program.

"I believe it is a racial issue," he said. "I believe it is a civil rights issue. I believe it is a religious issue, and people are getting hurt."

Saigo's institution, St. Cloud State, is in the same conference as the University of North Dakota, whose mascot is the "Fighting Sioux." Saigo's institution also has a notable American Indian population, and the issue has become divisive, particularly when North Dakota's teams come to play St. Cloud State.
Today's newspapers note that the NCAA rejected UND's appeal of the subsequent ban on Native American team nicknames. UND President Charles Kupchella will appeal.
Obviously, we do not agree with the decision, and we will continue to press our case through all of the levels of review and beyond as necessary. Because of the harshness of the words �hostile� and �abusive� we have no choice but to pursue an appeal and prove, in a court of law if necessary, that this choice of words was inappropriate, and in no way describes what we do here at the University of North Dakota.

While the appeal is being drawn up, the 4-0 Fighting Sioux host the 5-0 SCSU Huskies, where President Saigo still is in charge. It's homecoming weekend for North Dakota.

Gentlemen of the UND football team, good luck.