The University of North Dakota officially retired the "Fighting Sioux" name and emblem nearly three years ago, and now, with the three-year prohibition on a new team name set to expire in June, the list of potential nicknames -- and another with those that have been rejected -- is seeing the light of day.
For the past three seasons, the team has simply gone by University of North Dakota, with its jerseys devoid of any logos save a word mark bearing the university's name. The primary emblem, if it can be called such, was the letters UND overlapped with one another in a style similar to the New York of the MLB's New York Yankees or New York Mets.
The freshly suggested monikers, though, provide the opportunity for several new names to be associated with the school. Suggestions were collected for the entire month of April, and the three most popular names appear to be Flickertails, North Stars and the use of no nickname at all.
When it comes to considered nicknames, the list spans 121 pages with many of the suggestions repeated, some giving short explanations as to why they've been submitted and what the meaning behind the name is.
The lists themselves were thinned out by the UND Nickname Committee which, among others, includes former UND goaltender Karl Goehring who spent several seasons in the AHL before working with North Dakota as an assistant coach for several seasons. With the considered names now in hand, the committee will attempt to thin out the nicknames and submit a list for a formal, public vote which will decide the future moniker of the club.
Flickertails, one of the more popular suggestions with nearly 200 appearances on the list, was the original nickname of the team before it was changed to Fighting Sioux in 1930. A flickertail refers to the Richardson's ground squirrel, a rodent that is closely associated with North Dakota. The state itself is even referred to as the Flickertail state.
North Stars, unsurprisingly, has to do with the history of the name being used in professional hockey. Also, you'll find more than a dozen instances of the name simply sounding, "good," in the list of reasonings submitted to the nickname committee.
Going with no nickname at all, which is one of the most common suggestions, gives the student body and athletes who have already become used to simply being called the "University of North Dakota" the chance to continue without a nickname. When the public list is submitted, it would be interesting were this not an option for voting.
As can be expected in a list of fan-submitted nicknames, however, the school's Nickname Committee couldn't escape the Fighting Sioux suggestions. On the non-consideration list there are more than 120 consecutive pages (roughly 5,000 submissions) with the name "Fighting Sioux" suggested.
According to the committee, the short list of names will be released in May and the vote should take place shortly after.