The Civil War in the Great Northwest will no longer be a thing. Officially.
Every year, Oregon and Oregon State meet in an annual rivalry game. Since 1929, the grudge match between the pair of state of Oregon schools has been referred to as the Civil War. That, though, was before the civil unrest that has raced across the country in the wake of the George Floyd murder.
Friday, it was announced that both Oregon and Oregon State have mutually agreed to cease using the phrase “Civil War” in reference to the annual rivalry game. That edict, effective immediately, extends to all sports matchups between the universities.
“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 athletic director 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.”
“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,” UO 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.”
The 124th annual matchup between the Beavers and Ducks will be played Nov. 28 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis. The 123rd matchup was an easy win for the Ducks. The rivalry, incidentally, is the fifth-most played in college football history, with the first coming in 1894.