Oct 12, 2013 Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes cheerleaders lead the team onto the field prior to a game against the Stanford Cardinal at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah defeated Stanford 27-21. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Ok before you have that gut reaction to tell me I’m a liberal PC idiot bent on bringing destruction to the world via eliminating the Ute name, could I ask you for a moment to simply consider what I’m about to say.
Think of yourself as a company. Only you don’t control your own brand. You can only use your brand in limited ways and with the approval of a group who does own that brand. Every few years that group comes along and makes new demands for the continued use of your brand. Every few years you wonder if this is the year they decide you don’t get to use it any more.
Is there any company in the nation who would seriously put up with this?
Because that is how the University of Utah lives with the Ute tribe right now. Every couple of years they come up with something else the U must do, some new form of payment to keep a name that quite frankly limits how we can market ourselves. It’s clear now that we’re in the Pac-12 those demands are going to grow larger as our incomes being in the conference do.
And quite frankly I’m tired of it.
I don’t honestly think the University should pay a cent for the name for one simple reason.
Either the tribe is ok with the use of the name or they are not. Either it is appropriate for the University to use the name Utes or it isn’t. And no amount of money should change that equation.
This is 2013 and being able to market your brand in any manner you see fit is more important than it has EVER BEEN. It’s time that Utah take back control.