State Senator Tedisco, Union College basketball great, unhappy with school’s possible nickname change

Jim Tedisco speaking at microphones

FILE - Senator Jim Tedisco, who was an outstanding college basketball player at Union College from 1969-72, is unhappy that his alma mater is considering a nickname change.

New York State Senator Jim Tedisco is recognized as one of the greatest basketball players in Union College history.

Tedisco ranks fifth in all-time scoring with 1,652 points in 65 games from 1969-72. His career scoring average of 25.1 points per game is the best in school history. He has the top two season scoring averages (29.6 ppg in 1969-70 and 24.5 ppg in 1970-71). His 239 field goals made in the 1969-70 season are still the most in program history.

So, when Tedisco learned this week that his alma mater is considering a new nickname, he wasn’t pleased.

“It’s very disturbing,” Tedisco said during a telephone interview Friday afternoon. “It falls into the category of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Listen, I’ll be a Dutchmen for life. I don’t care what they start calling the athletes or the Union College people who are students there.”

On Wednesday, the college announced that it is collecting suggestions for a new nickname through Feb. 24 amid a comprehensive branding update has been in the works since last fall that will help steer how the college reaches out to prospective and current students, as well as staff and the general public moving forward, according to Mark Land, the college’s vice president of communications and marketing who is overseeing the effort. 

Land said the rebranding process is the perfect opportunity to reexamine the Dutchmen/Dutchwomen nickname, but stressed that no decision has been made to drop the current nickname at this time. Rather, the college is seeking input from various stakeholders on the idea moving forward.

Tedisco believes that the college’s effort to change the name is futile and that the nickname should remain Dutchmen and Dutchwomen.

“We’ve had a history in the city of Schenectady that the Dutch were European individuals coming from the Dutch nationalities,” Tedisco said. “[They] came in and were a part of our city early on. It’s been a college that’s [over] 100 years old. We’ve been very successful with the name Dutchmen and Dutchwomen.

“Wouldn’t we have more important things with our educational system at a secondary and at a higher educational college level, to start to try to pick names that aren’t impacted [by] diversity? I don’t see any problem whatsoever with Dutchmen and Dutchwomen.”

Contact Ken Schott by email at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @slapschotts.

Categories: College Sports, News, Schenectady County, Sports, Union College

One Comment

He cares about this, but doesn’t care that $10,000,000 in tax payer money is going towards a new hockey facility for a private college. So shakedowns by private colleges are ok, but name changes are not. OK Jim!!

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