Oregon, Oregon State drop 'Civil War' from rivalry
"Changing this name is overdue as it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery," Oregon State president Edward J. Ray stated. "While not intended as (a) reference to the actual Civil War, OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history.
"In recent years, some students, faculty, alumni, student-athletes, OSU stakeholders, and community members have questioned the appropriateness of this term. That we did not act before to change the name was a mistake. We do so now, along with other important actions to advance equal opportunity and justice for all and in recognition that Black Lives Matter."
The Oregon-Oregon State rivalry was first labeled the "Civil War" in the 1930s and was used to promote athletic contests between the two schools.
"Today's announcement is not only right, but is a long time coming, and I wish to thank former Duck great Dennis Dixon for raising the question and being the catalyst for change," said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens. "Thanks also to our current student-athletes for their leadership and input during this process. We must all recognize the power of words and the symbolism associated with the Civil War."
One of the oldest rivalries in the NCAA, Oregon and Oregon State have faced each other 123 times in football and 354 times in men's basketball.