The NCAA has reportedly told the University of North Dakota not to let fans of the former Fighting Sioux mess with the end of the National Anthem.
The UND crowd often ends the anthem with “the home of the Sioux” rather than the “home of the brave.”
The NCAA has forced the school to abandon its Native American nickname and mascot. UND is currently weighing new nicknames.
But Forum News Service reports the NCAA has told UND President Robert Kelley that the school could face sanctions if it continues to allow the crowd its freedom of speech, although the NCAA didn’t actually characterize it that way.
NCAA Associate Director of Public and Media Relations Gail Dent said via email if the Fighting Sioux chants were to continue at UND sporting events, the NCAA could investigate.
“Schools can be held accountable for their fans’ actions/behavior at school events,” she said. “Schools have also found ways to proactively deliver public address announcements and other forms of written and verbal messaging to their fan/alumni/student base to deter various types of behavior.”
(UND spokesman Peter) Johnson said in an interview he considers this a friendly warning from the NCAA, and while the school will campaign to have the new nickname accepted by the public—whatever it is—there are no plans to limit what fans do, say or wear.
“The president has said pretty consistently that people can certainly wear what they want to wear and say what they want to say within the bounds of, well, the kinds of things you can say,” Johnson said.
The general manager of the arena where the team plays its hockey games says the facility won’t restrict what fans wear or say.
(h/t: Ann Arbor Miller)