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May 16, 2013

Oneidas present CCS with $10,000 for uniforms

Halbritter thanks students for leading on name change

(Continued)

He added: “I can only hope that what has transpired here tonight resonates somehow in Washington with all the debates they have there about the name of their football team.”

Hawkeye is the nickname of Natty Bumppo, a character created by author James Fenimore Cooper, who lived in Cooperstown.

Board members adopted the name during a special meeting on April 23 after making sure there would be no infringement issues or conflicts with the Cooperstown team from the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League that goes by Cooperstown Hawkeyes.

A letter of agreement was made through Green & Green Attorney at Law between CCS and the team’s owner and president, Thomas Hickey. The agreement states that Cooperstown Minor League Baseball Ventures, LLC, is the holder of the trademark “Cooperstown Hawkeyes,” but is willing to allow the school to use the name “Cooperstown Central School Hawkeyes” or “CCS Hawkeyes.”

According to school officials, the process of changing the district’s nickname began when students discussed their concerns with the use of “Redskins” with administration and board members. Officials then began reviewing the potentially negative message associated with the term. The topic was publicly broached at the Jan. 16 board of education meeting.

Following that meeting Cooperstown Student Council members were asked to assist with gathering suggestions and feedback for potential alternatives to the nickname. Students in grades seven through 12 were given the opportunity to weigh in. A student survey, which allowed “Redskins” as a write-in vote, narrowed a list of names down to a top five.

However, after several representatives of the school’s alumni association questioned why their input was not sought, the school reached out to get guidance from all community members with assistance from the group.

Hawkeyes was the name that received the most support by students, teachers and the public via a second round of surveys. CCS Hawkeyes, Huskies, Pathfinders and Pioneers were the final four names put out for vote.

According to school officials, the name “Redskins” dates to the mid-1920s. The district plans to keep its colors of orange and black along its emblem based on “The Indian Hunter.”

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