Pac-12 Rivalry To Get New Name As Oregon, Oregon State Drop ‘Civil War’

Jun 26, 2020, 11:36 AM
Oregon Civil War - UO OSU...
EUGENE, OREGON - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks runs with the ball as defensive back Jalen Moore #33 of the Oregon State Beavers closes in during the second half of the game at Autzen Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 24-10. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

One of the Pac-12 Conference’s biggest rivalries will have a new name beginning this fall. Officials at both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University mutually agreed to discontinue the term “Civil War” for all athletic events effective immediately.

“Changing this name is overdue as it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery,” said Oregon State 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 Oregon-Oregon State rivalry is one of the oldest in college sports. It dates back to 1894 with Oregon holding an all-time lead of 66-47-10 over their rivals in Corvallis.

“I want to acknowledge and thank the current and former student-athletes who raised concerns about the historic name of the rivalry games played between our two institutions,” Oregon President Michael H. Schill said. “We need to make this change to align the words and symbols we use around athletic endeavors with our shared campus values of equity and inclusivity. While the name of our annual game might change, it will absolutely continue to be one of the great rivalries in college sports.”

Oregon’s statement on the “Civil War” name being dropped also included a statement from the Ducks Athletics Director Rob Mullens who thanked former Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon for raising the question and “being the catalyst for change.” Dixon played at Oregon from 2004-2007 and finished fifth in the Heisman voting during the 2007 season.

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