Oregon and Oregon State share one of the Pac-12's most heated rivalries. That will remain the case going forward, but it will no longer be referred to as the Civil War.
Moments ago, the news was announced. It comes as a reaction to the current national climate, which looks to properly contextualize and frame the Civil War and other things that stem from it. That includes confederate statues and other things honoring the confederacy, its top figures, and slavery as a whole.
Obviously, the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry name was never supposed to be evocative of the American Civil War, the bloodiest event in the history of our country. Still, the powers that be have decided to make this change, even without a major public push to do so. Oregon has announced the move himself.
Assuming we have college football this fall, we'll have the 124th meeting between the Ducks and Beavers on Nov. 28. Oregon State will host this year's edition of the game.
According to Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens, former Ducks quarterback Dennis Dixon was among those who raised concerns about the name.
From the school's release:
"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."
School president Michael H. Schill says that other current and former athletes also raised concerns.
This is not the first major rivalry to change its name due to similar issues. Texas vs. Oklahoma, once known as the Red River Shootout, is now officially called the Red River Showdown, as its sponsors wanted to distance the name from gun violence. Some also refer to it as the Red River Rivalry or Classic.
We'll see what emerges as a replacement name for the game, if there is one.