Fighting Sioux Nickname, Logo Close to Retirement

North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname and logo are one step closer to being officially retired.

The North Dakota Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the State Board of Higher Education has the authority to change the school’s nickname at any time. the Grand Forks Herald reported.

The court ruled on a case brought by members of the Spirit Lake tribe who wanted to keep the nickname, the paper reported.

The board decided in May 2009 to retire the Fighting Sioux nickname. On Thursday, it ruled that the transition to a new nickname should begin immediately.

North Dakota teams will continue to be known as the Fighting Sioux through the 2010-11 season, the school announced.

Board president Richie Smith told the newspaper that another board member could ask to revisit the issue. But Smith also said that his interpretation of the issue was that chancellor Bill Goetz will advise North Dakota to start the transition away from the Fighting Sioux nickname, the newspaper reported.

The NCAA considers Native American nicknames “hostile” and “abusive” and has given schools with those nicknames deadlines to change them unless they get approval from local tribes to continue using them.