Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

The University of North Dakota officially OWNS the NCAA

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

The University of North Dakota officially OWNS the NCAA

Old 08-14-05, 10:40 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: frass canyon
Posts: 16,249
The University of North Dakota officially OWNS the NCAA

http://www.und.edu/president/html/st...CAAletter.html
An Open Letter to the NCAA:

The quiet serenity of our beautiful campus was disturbed early August 5 by news reports that the NCAA had decided to address the Indian nickname issue. The early reports were unclear; the words mascot, nickname, and logo were used interchangeably, and the loaded words “abusive” and “hostile” were invoked without definition and without any real clear idea as to how they were being applied. We don’t have a mascot, and our logo was designed by a very well-respected American Indian artist. We couldn’t imagine that these reports would apply to us.

Later, we saw the full release. While it looked like the action taken by the NCAA was insulting, and a flagrant abuse of power, we knew that good, well-meaning people were involved in the decision and we wanted to consider our reaction carefully.

We were initially stunned by the charge “abusive” and “hostile,” and then angry. We reflected and gave it a week before drafting this response. I must admit to sinking at one point during the past week to the notion that my Association was guilty of “political correctness run amok” as suggested by some papers.

We want to file an appeal, but first we need to know the basis for your decisions. We need the answers to some questions first, in other words.

I do not wish to take up the issue, here, of any absolute or general “correctness” of using American Indian imagery. Those on both sides of the issue have long ago made up their minds, and no amount of talking over many years seems to have moved anyone from one side of the issue to the other. Suffice it to say, some choose to be insulted by the use of these terms; others are befuddled by this reaction to what they consider to be an honor. What I would like to take up here is a matter of the appropriateness and legality of the NCAA’s action. I mean to take up the issue of whether the NCAA has gone over the edge and out of bounds in the action announced on Friday.

Is it the use of Indian names, images, and/or mascots to which you are opposed? If it is all of the above, which logos, images, and mascots do you indict by your announcement? Is it only certain ones? As I said, a very respected Indian artist designed and created a logo for the University. The logo is not unlike those found on United States coins and North Dakota highway patrol cars and highway signs. So we can’t imagine that the use of this image is “abusive” or “hostile” in any sense of these words.

Is it the use of the names of tribes that you find hostile and abusive?

Not long ago I took a trip to make a proposal to establish an epidemiological program to support American Indian health throughout the Upper Great Plains. On this trip I left a state called North Dakota. (Dakota is one of the names the indigenous people of this region actually call themselves.) I flew over South Dakota, crossing the Sioux River several times, and finally landed in Sioux City, Iowa, just south of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The airplane in which I traveled that day was called a Cheyenne.

I think you should find my confusion here understandable, since obviously if we were to call our teams “The Dakotans,” we would actually be in more direct violation of what apparently you are trying to establish as a rule, even though this is the name of our state. This situation, of course, is not unlike that faced by our sister institution in Illinois.

Is it only when some well-meaning people object to the use of the names of tribes? If so, what standard did you use to decide where the line from acceptable to “hostile” and “abusive” is crossed? We note that you exempted a school with a certain percentage of American Indian students. We have more than 400 American Indian students here. Who decided that a certain percentage was okay, but our percentage was not? Where is the line between okay and hostile/abusive?

We have two Sioux tribes based here in North Dakota. One has, in fact, objected to our use of the name, “Sioux,” applied to our sports teams. The other said it was okay, provided that we took steps to ensure that some good comes of it, in educating people and students about the cultural heritage of this region. This mix of opinions is apparently not unlike that faced by our sister institution in Florida.

Is it only about applying names to sports teams? If so, would this be extended to the use of the names of all people, or is it just American Indians? Why would you exempt the “Fighting Irish” from your consideration, for example? Or “Vikings,” which are really fighting Scandinavians, or “Warriors,” which I suppose could be described as fighting anybodies? Wouldn’t it be “discrimination on account of race” to have a policy that applies to Indians but not to Scandinavians or the Irish, or anybody else for that matter? This seems especially profound in light of a letter to me from President Brand (8/9/05) in which he, in very broad-brush fashion and inconsistent with the NCAA’s recent much narrower pronouncement, said, “we believe that mascots, nicknames or images deemed hostile or abusive in terms of race, ethnicity or national origin should not be visible at our events.” (my emphasis)

As to the flagrant abuse of power question, I want to make sure I have this straight. We’ve recently built some magnificent facilities costing well over $100 million, under rules permitting us to host championship tournaments and otherwise participate fully in NCAA sanctioned activities, in which the very architecture of the building incorporates names and images of American Indian people. Do you really expect us now to spend large amounts of money to erase what we consider to be respectful images and names of Indian people who inhabited this region in the interest of the NCAA Executive Committee?

Hostile and abusive??

Help me understand why you think “hostile and abusive” applies to us. We have more than 25 separate programs in support of American Indian students here receiving high-end university educations. Included among these is an “Indians Into Medicine” program, now 30+ years running, that has generated 20 percent of all American Indian doctors in the United States. We have a similar program in Nursing, one in Clinical Psychology, and we are about to launch an “Indians into Aviation” program in conjunction with our world-class Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. I am very proud when I visit reservations in our state to see that a large number of the teachers, doctors, Tribal College presidents, and other leaders are graduates of the University of North Dakota.

Do you really expect us to host a tournament in which these names and images are covered in some way that would imply that we are ashamed of them?

Concerning tournaments already scheduled: Is the NCAA taking the position that it can actually unilaterally modify a contract already made? Perhaps the charge (sometimes heard) that the NCAA exhibits too much of the arrogance that comes from its status as a monopoly – apart from the question of whether it’s an effective organization – does indeed have a basis.

If the NCAA has all this power, why not use it to restore intercollegiate athletics to the ideal of sportsmanship by decoupling intercollegiate athletics from its corruption by big budgets? Why not use the power to put a halt to the out-of-control financial arms race that threatens to corrupt even higher education itself?

Yes, I know that in theory the NCAA is actually an association, and that UND is a member of it, and therefore it’s really we who are doing all of these things to ourselves, or failing to do all of these things ourselves. But is the NCAA really a democratic organization? Why did we not put these issues to a vote by all member schools??

In his USA Today essay, Myles Brand proclaimed that this is a teachable moment, suggesting that the NCAA decision is “aimed at initiating a discussion on a national basis about how American Indians have been characterized . . . .” Great idea! Let’s have the discussion – one that we should have had before this ruling was handed down, one that actually includes American Indians and puts this in the perspective of all that is important to them at this time in history. And while we are at it, why not also address the state of intercollegiate athletics – whether or not student-athletes at some schools are being exploited, and whether or not there is an out-of-control financial “arms race” threatening the integrity of higher education itself.

In considering how to appeal, we find it exasperating that we can’t tell what the basis for your initial decision was and how you singled us out in the first place. In a letter from Myles Brand to me (8/9/05) he suggests that we could, in an appeal, argue that our symbols or mascots do not create a hostile or abusive environment. But his letter also seems to suggest that as long as some think the environment is hostile, case closed.

By the way, the last time this issue was stirred up on our campus, a formal charge was made to the Office for Civil Rights that the use of our logo or nickname created a hostile environment here at the University. The Office for Civil Rights sent a half-dozen people to our campus. They fanned out across campus and after more than a week here, found no such thing. Did the Executive Committee find some things they missed, perhaps? Or does a committee in Indianapolis trump the Office for Civil Rights here, on the ground, in North Dakota?

Finally, I expect that we will file an appeal, because should we wish to take this issue to court, the courts would undoubtedly ask if we have exhausted all administrative remedies. Please send us the appropriate application forms, and give us an indication of how the appeal will be heard and when. If the timing of this appeal were such that your deadline occurs before the appeal is resolved, we would ask that the deadline be put off, otherwise we may well have to go to the expense of seeking an injunction halting the imposition of these policies until all of our questions can be answered satisfactorily.

We thank you in advance for considering our questions.

Sincerely,


Charles E. Kupchella
President
RoyalTea is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 10:50 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,204
North Dakota has sports teams?
NCMojo is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 11:06 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: South Bay
Posts: 56,482
They should just change their Team name to "UND Fannings".
Giantrobo is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 11:11 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,204
Originally Posted by Giantrobo
They should just change their Team name to "UND Fannings".
Or the "Erwears".
NCMojo is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 11:20 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
DeputyDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 14,081
Could I get some Bold on that one, please?
DeputyDave is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 01:45 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: SE USA
Posts: 620
FIGHT THE POWER!!!!

seriously though, it's a nice letter but how does ND "own" the NCAA??
spankasmurf is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 03:07 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Surrounded by idiots...
Posts: 6,991
The NCAA is going to end up eating the same shit they spew on this one.
Toad is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 03:28 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,814
Sports forum? Politics?
The Bus is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 03:47 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oklahoma, USA
Posts: 8,494
Ivan Maisel brought up the point yesterday on ESPN that Oklahoma is made up of two Choctaw words that mean "red people". Does that mean that the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are automatically banned from the playoffs until the state changes it's name?
Joe Molotov is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 04:09 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: South Bay
Posts: 56,482
You know, "White guilt" is a bitch.
Giantrobo is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 04:19 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
AGuyNamedMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: (formerly known as Inglenook Hampendick) Fairbanks, Alaska!
Posts: 15,072
Originally Posted by Giantrobo
You know, "White guilt" is a bitch.
I guess it is if you feel it.
AGuyNamedMike is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 04:30 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,306
Cameron is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 04:56 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Vermont
Posts: 9,771
I've actually been in the $100 million building in North Dakota. As far as I know, the entire thing was built with Ralph Englestad's money, by Ralph Englestad -- as opposed to taxpayer money or other donations. He was apparently "really into" the Fighting Sioux nickname, and purposely specified that the logo pretty much appear in every possible place. It's all over the building, on the back of every seat, etc.

Since the university had been through those debates before, he wanted to give his side a huge leg up by making the logo completely unavoidable on TV, in photos, etc. At least make it impossible to extricate themselves from that nickname.
stevevt is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 05:57 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Back home again, in Indiana..
Posts: 599
Kupchella should know all about getting owned, considering he got his pee pee smacked in a most vicious and public way........

Oddly this $100 million arena was supposed to cost 50 million with the other 50 going towards educational programs, but instead, it cost well over $100 million (est. $115 million) and basically enters the university in a binding contract where the arena is not owned by them and the group that controls the arena has the land leased to them for eternity at something like one dollar per year. I think we all know my stand on the logo issue and would not like to turn this thread into a debate over that, but both my wife and I are alumnus or UND and think our university has really dropped the ball in tying themselves with a Nazi lover. (not kidding, read the article)



story

Infamous letter from Ralph Engelstad to Charles Kupchella (UND President)

Dear Chuck:

I am sorry to have to write this letter, but as a businessman, I have no choice.

Commitments were made to me by others and yourself, regarding the Sioux logo and the Sioux slogan, before I started the arena and after it had been started.

These promises have not been kept, and I, as a businessman, cannot proceed while this cloud is still hanging above me.

I do not think that you realize the amount of work and the amount of people involved to make this new arena a success, and time is running out on us to accomplish what we have to do prior to its opening, such as selling tickets, advertising, installation of equipment and many other details that no one thinks of. All of this takes time.

I understand that you are to make a decision sometime in the future, but I do not understand where one person gets the authority to make this kind of a decision on behalf of all alumni, students, the city of Grand Forks and the state of North Dakota.

We previously had shut down (construction of the arena) for approximately two months, as per your request that we didn¹t do anything while you were working on the name. We took the logo and the slogan off of the Web site, and we have been trying to do our job, but we are faced with an uphill hurdle because of your indecisiveness.

I have been given the authority to use this logo and the slogan, and we have hesitated to do so in order to help you with your decision-making, but it has now come to the point that we must march forward. The only item that this logo and slogan have been used on, are the models of the arena which we sent out the first part of the week. These models were ordered many, many months ago, and are part of our advertising campaign to sell season tickets.

I figure that we must sell 10,000 tickets between now and July if we are going to fill this arena, and we need to fill this arena to make money for the UND hockey team and the athletic department.

I know what has been said in the past, and you know what has been said in the past, and if the commitments are not lived up to, then I have no reason to live up to my commitment to build an arena for the UND hockey team.

We are in the process of hiring more people to sell tickets and advertising, which does nothing to help us, but benefits UND.

Please be advised that if this logo and slogan are not approved by you no later than Friday, December 29, 2000, then you will leave me with no alternative to take the action which I think is necessary.

If the logo and slogan are not approved by the above-mentioned date, I will then write a letter on December 30, 2000, to all contractors and to everybody associated with the arena, canceling their construction contracts for the completion of the arena. I am a man of my word, and I will see to it that a settlement is made with all subcontractors, with anyone who has purchased prepaid advertising. I will refund money to all ticket holders and abandon the project. It would then be left up to you if you want to complete it, with money from wherever you may be able to find it.

I have spent, as of this time, in excess of $35 million, which I will consider a bad investment, but I will take my lumps and walk away.

As I am sure you realize, the commitment I made to the university of North Dakota was, I believe, one of the 10 largest ever made to a school of higher education, but if it is not completed, I am sure it will be the number one building never brought to completion at a school of higher education, due to your changing the logo and the slogan.

You need to think how changing this logo and slogan will affect not just the few that are urging the name change, but also how it will affect the university as a while, the students, the city of Grand forks, and the state of North Dakota.

If I walk away and abandon the project, please be advised that we will shut off all temporary heat going to this building, and I am sure that nature, through its cold weather, will completely destroy any portion of the building through frost that you might be able to salvage. I surely hoped that it would never come to this, but I guess it has.

It is a good thing that you are an educator because you are a man of indecision, and, and if you were a businessman, you would not succeed, you would be broke immediately.

Please do not consider this letter a threat in any7 manner, as it is not intended to be. It is only notification to you of exactly what I am going to do if you change this logo and this slogan.

In the event it is necessary to cancel the completion of the arena, I will then send notification to anyone who is interested, informing them of the same, and laying out to them all of the facts and all of the figures from all of the meetings that led me to make this decision.

Your lack of making a decision has hung over our heads too long, and we can¹t go on with it any further.

It is your choice if you want to put hundreds of construction workers out of a job, and deprive the local businesses of Grand forks of the income they are receiving f4rom the construction of the arena.

I might also add that while I was dictating this letter, I received a call from Dean Blais (UND¹s hockey coach), who is completely fed up, and he informed me that he is possibly going to tender his resignation if the logo and the slogan are changed.

Yours truly,
Ralph Engelstad
jaelliot is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 06:03 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Back home again, in Indiana..
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by stevevt
I've actually been in the $100 million building in North Dakota. As far as I know, the entire thing was built with Ralph Englestad's money, by Ralph Englestad -- as opposed to taxpayer money or other donations. He was apparently "really into" the Fighting Sioux nickname, and purposely specified that the logo pretty much appear in every possible place. It's all over the building, on the back of every seat, etc.

Since the university had been through those debates before, he wanted to give his side a huge leg up by making the logo completely unavoidable on TV, in photos, etc. At least make it impossible to extricate themselves from that nickname.
It's also in the imported Italian marble and on the leather seats with solid cherry arm rests..... It is far and away the nicest sports arena I have ever been in, too bad it comes with all the baggage. I am a huge hockey fan and broke down and went to a game in the new arena (actually sat in Ralph's personal luxury box.. he is dead now, so they rent it out occasionally) and found I couldn't enjoy it and felt ashamed I went, because of my personal beliefs.
jaelliot is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 06:07 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 51,959
Change the name to Buffalo Fuckers.

P.S. I'm part Indian, so I can say stuff like this.
DVD Polizei is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 08:11 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 33,104
Originally Posted by jaelliot
and found I couldn't enjoy it and felt ashamed I went, because of my personal beliefs.
Did you stay for the whole game?

I remember when they built the arena, SI did a big story on Engelstad, his fascinations w/ Nazis, and all of his demands that went into building the arena - very interesting to say the least. But it is supposed to be the nicest hockey arena on the planet.
B.A. is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 09:31 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Back home again, in Indiana..
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by B.A.
Did you stay for the whole game?

Well, it was a really close game. Luckily for me our suite had an open bar, which I used to dull my pain... I might have to try going for the Gopher game this year and see if rooting for the other team makes me feel any better.
jaelliot is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 10:45 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Change the name to Buffalo Fuckers.

P.S. I'm part Indian, so I can say stuff like this.

Buffalo Fuckers. I could actually cheer for that team.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 11:09 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 51,959


Bring the kids. Hell, bring the chickens, too!
DVD Polizei is offline  
Old 08-15-05, 01:15 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hero
 
PopcornTreeCt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,916
I don't get why it's a big deal. And the NCAA hasn't gotten owned. Pretty much every University with an Indian themed team name has written a similiar letter.
PopcornTreeCt is offline  
Old 08-15-05, 08:52 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,487
What a great letter.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 08-15-05, 09:03 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 5,582
First the NCAA says you can do something, then they say you can't. What a bunch of Indian givers.
Turd Ferguson is offline  
Old 08-15-05, 10:17 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NYC
Posts: 17,018
"But we had an Indian design our logo! Sure, half the tribes complained, but since we had an Indian design our logo, that trumps all else."
Breakfast with Girls is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.