The North Dakota "Fighting Sioux" will not be fighting at the University of Iowa anytime soon, thanks to UI's strict policy about Native American mascot names.
Mark Abbott, the athletic director at the University of Iowa, will not invite the University of North Dakota to participate in a track meet this April because of their mascot, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. University policy prohibits scheduling games with or attending tournaments at schools that use Native American names for their mascots. While UI makes some exceptions for schools that have had the names approved by both the NCAA and the tribe in question, North Dakota's name has been up for debate since 2005.
“There was some discussion about it, but the policy on not competing against institutions that use Native American mascots came into play,” Abbott told the Press-Citizen.
As a result of pressure from the University of North Dakota community, the North Dakota House of Representatives introduced a bill in 1999 to eliminate the nickname "Fighting Sioux." The bill failed, and the name has continued to spark controversy ever since.
The debate became especially heated after a strengthening of NCAA policy in 2005, limiting the use of Native American mascots, nicknames and imagery.
The North Dakota State of Higher Education voted to retire the nickname "Fighting Sioux" after the 2010-2011 season, but the deadline was pushed back and eventually repealed. Since then, the university has re-adopted the nickname, and the issue has reached the North Dakota State Supreme Court.
While the University of North Dakota will not be competing at UI any time soon, the schools may face off at third-party competitions in which the latter has no control over scheduling. These exemptions include NCAA competitions and bowl games, among others.
North Dakota isn't alone in having a controversial nickname, take a look at a few other examples: