Last month, Oregon and Oregon State issued a joint statement announcing that neither school will continue to refer to the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry game as the Civil War, due to associations with the American Civil War.
"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."
The reaction has been mixed. Many former players such as Dennis Dixon came out in support of the name change but others such as Tyson Coleman and Thomas Tyner, both Oregon natives, disagreed with the decision.
“Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. It is the Civil War,” former Lake Oswego linebacker Tyson Coleman texted Tyson Alger of The Athletic. “Quote me.”
“Well, I’m right there with Tyson,” texted Thomas Tyner, an Aloha High School legend who played at both Oregon and Oregon State in college. “I think it’s nothing but stupid.”
[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].
However, of the athletes speaking about the decision, more tended to lean towards changing the name as a good idea.
Tuesday afternoon, Oregon Football tweeted out a video of former Ducks players voicing their approval of the name change.
Of those featured includes Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, Joey Harrington, Kenjon Barner, Jonathan Stewart, Geoff Schwartz, and Jeff Maehl.
"If my brother comes to me and says my words and my actions are hurting them, I first listen, and then I make a change," said Harrington.
"Regardless of the color of your skin, we are all in this together," added Stewart. "All of us."
Our brothers are speaking and we are listening. I support this change and our family should too. - Marcus Mariota
The players also all reiterated that "the name is not the game," and saying that the rivalry will still be heated without the name.
"The game between the Ducks and the Beavers is one of the greatest rivalries in all of college football," said Maehl.
He will continue to believe that even without the name of the Civil War, both Universities want their fans to feel the same way.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and former Oregon Track & Field star and Olympian Galen Rupp].