Since 1894, the Ducks and Beavers have squared off on the gridiron in a battle for bragging rights in the state of Oregon. The rivalry, known as the Civil War, is the state’s most anticipated sporting event.
While the timeless tradition between the two archnemeses will continue for years to come, it’s colloquial name will be no longer.
Per a release on Friday, the University of Oregon and Oregon State University has mutually agreed to no longer refer to the rivalry as “Civil War.” The decision is effective immediately and will begin with all athletic competitions in the 2020-21 season.
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. 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. -- Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens
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Oregon State President Ed Ray said changing the name was overdue, as “it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery.”
While not intended as reference to the actual Civil War, OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history. That we did not act before to change the name was a mistake. We do so now, along with other important actions to advance equal opportunity and justice for all and in recognition that Black Lives Matter. -- Oregon State President Ed Ray
Former Beavers Steven Jackson and Ken Simonton are among prominent athletes to speak out about the rivalry's former name and will play a crucial role in the process of selecting a new name for the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry.
Former Beaver standouts Steven Jackson and Ken Simonton are among prominent alumni who have also expressed approval and will be a part of the renaming process of the Oregon State-Oregon rivalry. pic.twitter.com/oj0QRZOeuq— The Beavs (@BeaverAthletics) June 26, 2020
Two-time Super Bowl champion and former Duck Dennis Dixon shed light on how the name change came into play.
"I am happy to see two universities coming together to drive change, an everlasting change. I'm excited to be part of this change," Dixon said in a video.
As a player, he led us into a national championship race. Now, he’s a leading voice for change regarding today’s announcement.— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) June 26, 2020
Here’s Dennis Dixon on how the conversation took shape: pic.twitter.com/5eq6T7FErm
The 124th annual football game will continue to be played Nov. 28 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis. The two schools have competed in men’s basketball a record 354 times.