Pac-12 Rivalry To Get New Name As Oregon, Oregon State Drop ‘Civil War’
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.”
We appreciate our alumni and current student-athletes for reaching out to share their perspective, and they have been heard. We can face off against Oregon State without calling it a “Civil War.”
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) June 26, 2020
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.