DIXIE NO MORE?
On February 4th, John Thompson, President of the Dixie
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced that they will change
its name to the USA South Athletic Conference.
According to Thompson, the possibility of a name change had been discussed on a presidential level within the Conference for the past year-and-a-half. The athletic directors proposed the name to the Presidents and it was approved unanimously. "The energy and dynamics of the Conference have been transformed in the past couple of years with the addition of a fulltime Commissioner, Sports Information Director, sports and institutions. These positive forces of growth led us into discussions for the selection of a new name that would be reflective of our national reputation in the NCAA Division III, show respect and sensitivity to all members and denote our regional geographical location."
Ted Kinder, athletic director of Ferrum College is quoted
there does seem to be a negative association with 'Dixie,'
and if it's offensive, it's probably best to change the name."
flag and those kind of things," Kinder said. "It's the same
type of thing as we're seeing with Indian mascots across
"A lot of people didn't really think about it, to be honest with you, until it was brought to their attention. Some people said, 'Now that you mention it, it does kind of reflect badly,'" Kinder said.
Paul Trible, President of Christopher Newport University and Chairman of the Conference Presidents Council added, "Our new name, USA South Athletic Conference, honors our national reputation, underscores our location and is more appropriate to America in the 21st century."
Members of the Dixie Conference include Averett, Chowan, Christopher Newport, Ferrum, Greensboro, Methodist, N.C. Wesleyan and Shenandoah. Peace College will join the conference for the 2003-04 season.
Though this particular change is not earth shattering
to those of us that live in Cookeville, it is just another assault on
our heritage and a caving in to those of "political correctness".
Also, in 2000, Virginia Military Institute punished two members of its pipe and drum band for playing a few bars of "Dixie" at a ceremony because VMI spokesman Mike Strickler said the song was "offensive to black cadets."
So, look out Dixie Chicks, Winn-Dixie and Dixie Carter, your next; and if it weren't for the oxymoron of North in North Dixie Avenue, as in the Cookeville street name, could we also not expect a change in that?