Eugene, Ore. -- The name of the state's longest collegiate athletic rivalry will be changed. Athletic Department Officials from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University have mutually agreed to no longer refer to their rivalry games as 'The Civil War'. This decision is effective immediately and includes all athletic competitions in the 2020-2021 academic year and in the years ahead.
The schools made the decision following discussions with university officials and input from current and former student-athletes from both 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 Director of Athletics 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. 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.”
“Changing this name is overdue as it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “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.”
The football series between Oregon State and Oregon is the fifth-most contested rivalry in the country in the Football Bowl Subdivision with the 124th edition on November 28th at Reser Stadium.