When Oregon and Oregon State face off this fall on Nov. 28 -- assuming, of course, that the game is still on schedule -- the longtime rivalry will not be called the "Civil War." The universities announced that they have mutually agreed to no longer officially refer to Oregon-Oregon State rivalry games as such, a decision that is effective immediately and includes athletic competitions spanning all sports.
According to Oregon's press release, former Ducks quarterback Dennis Dixon played an important role in the change; however, "mutual discussions as well as conversations with university officials and input from current and former student-athletes from both schools" were used as well. The rivalry has not been renamed, though deliberations on that subject are expected to continue in the coming months.
"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."
Former Beaver standouts Steven Jackson and Ken Simonton also expressed support for changing the name.
College athletics has made several changes in the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter movement. Among the changes, Florida will discontinue the popular "Gator Bait" cheer at school-sanctioned sporting events due to racial imagery. Texas athletes have asked that the "Eyes of Texas" song be taken out of game-day traditions. The state of Mississippi is also once again at the center of immense pressure to change the flag, which contains the Confederate emblem.