The NCAA shocked the College Hockey community today, announcing that it had intervened to officially change the University of North Dakota’s nickname to "Shitsipping Crybabies", resolving a 3-year dispute.
Formerly known as the "Fighting Sioux", UND has been playing without a nickname since the NCAA sanctioned teams with Native American nicknames, barring them from postseason play. UND started to undergo a process to establish a replacement this summer, but public backlash and legal action has undermined the effort, leaving no end in sight to the controversy.
"We certainly didn’t relish having to step in, but we were left with no choice," says NCAA President Mark Emmert. "The NCAA couldn’t accept dragging this ugly and embarrassing ordeal out any further. By selecting a nickname that reflects the spirit of North Dakota fans, hopefully we’ll get closure on this issue."
Predictably, the NCAA’s action is generating controversy, with many UND fans decrying the move as an abuse of power. Former Bismarck mayor Marlan Haakenson wrote on Facebook: "These people came to our state, took away our autonomy, stripped us of our culture, and now they want to reduce us to this offensive stereotype. This is easily the worst case of oppression I’ve ever heard of."
Emmert dismisses claims that "Shitsipping Crybabies" is a hostile, abusive nickname. In a press conference he declared, "The new nickname does nothing but honor the rich heritage of the great state of North Dakota. I’ve talked to many people from North Dakota, and they all feel that being a Shitsipping Crybaby is a source of pride."
UND President Dr. Robert Kelley has announced his support of the ruling saying, "When I started the committee to find a new nickname, I supported options like ‘Sundogs’ and ‘Roughriders’. But after hearing North Dakotans constantly whine about the nickname over the past several years, I’ve concluded that nothing more accurately represents our fans, school, and state than ‘Shitsipping Crybabies’."
With the support of both the NCAA and UND’s administration, it appears as though the new nickname is here to stay, whether the Shitsipping Crybabies like it or not. Finding an end to this controversy will enable the two to focus 100% of their energy on finding more profitable ways of exploiting student-athletes.