The list of possible nicknames for the University of North Dakota has been trimmed to 15.
UND's 11-person Nickname Committee began with more than 1,000 suggestions to replace the retired Fighting Sioux moniker, and slowly it has whittled away the list, cutting it down to 15 at Tuesday's meeting.
Eliminated from the list of 64 were names including: Warhawks, Snow Leopards, Prairie Hawks, Wooly Mammoth and Green Pride.
The remaining names, according to Valley News Live:, include:
- Fighting Green
- Fighting Hawks
- Green Hawks
- North Dakota
- North Stars
- Thunder Hawks
The Nickname Committee will narrow the list further before putting the options up to a public vote. Consultant Kelley O'Keefe thinks the committee will be able to wrap up the selection at its next meeting, KFGO notes, which hasn't been scheduled.
Before then, committee members will individually rank the names based on criteria previously laid out and then discuss their rankings at the meeting before choosing to eliminate any more, Forum News reports.
The school retired the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo in 2012, after a long and contentious legal battle over whether the symbols were offensive to local Sioux tribes and other American Indians.
The NCAA threatened sanctions, and eventually UND agreed to drop the Fighting Sioux.
State lawmakers then put into place a three-year moratorium on choosing a new nickname, so the school’s athletic teams have been playing simply as “UND/North Dakota” since then.
Many alumni remain in favor of keeping North Dakota as the school's nickname, reports note.