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University of Michigan Panel: Rename Yost Ice Arena

Andy Berg

The University of Michigan is considering removing the name of college football legend Fielding H. Yost from the Yost Ice Arena.

A panel recommended removing Yost’s name from the facility and is asking for feedback on the matter. 

The President’s Advisory Committee on University History will accept input through June 7, and all comments will be presented to the UM president Mark Schlissel, who has the power to reject or modify it.

University historians studied the issue for over a year after several requests were made to remove Yost’s name from the building. According to The Detroit News, the panel determined that Yost's contributions to UM football and athletics were inequitably placed above the “profoundly deep and negative impact he had on people of color,” they said.

Yost was UM's head football coach and athletic director from 1901-41. During his term as AD from 1921-1941, Yost oversaw the construction of Michigan Stadium.

It was also during this time that Yost was instrumental in benching African American football star Willis Ward because Georgia Tech refused to play Michigan at home if an African American was allowed to play. That decision was a factor in the committee's decision to recommend changing the arena's name.

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