The Oregon State – Oregon football rivalry will no longer carry the “Civil War” name. The rivalry has gone by the name since 1894 as the Ducks and Beavers battle it out for state bragging rights, but now the programs will have to find a new name effective immediately.
The decision comes as an effort to avoid “any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history” and to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“While not intended as reference to the actual Civil War, OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history. 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,” Oregon State President Ed Ray said in a statement.
The charge for the University of Oregon to consider changing the name came from former Ducks star quarterback Dennis Dixon.
As a player, he led us into a national championship race. Now, he’s a leading voice for change regarding today’s announcement.
Here’s Dennis Dixon on how the conversation took shape: pic.twitter.com/5eq6T7FErm
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) June 26, 2020
“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. Thanks also to our current student-athletes for their leadership and input during this process,” Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens said.
“We must all recognize the power of words and the symbolism associated with the Civil War. This mutual decision is in the best interests of both schools, and I would like to thank Scott Barnes for his diligence as we worked through this process. We look forward to our continued and fierce in-state rivalry with Oregon State in all sports.”
Oregon and Oregon State will meet on the gridiron for the 124th annual football meeting on November 28 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.