The rivalry between the universities of Missouri and Kansas, which traces its roots to the Civil War, will retire the name "Border War" out of respect for American troops fighting overseas, the schools said yesterday.

The sponsored contest between the schools, decided by head-to-head competition in common sports during an academic year, will now imaginatively be called the "Border Showdown."

"We feel that in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, and the ensuing events around the world, it is inappropriate to use the term 'war' to describe intercollegiate athletics events," Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins said. "We need to be more sensitive to the men and women who defend our country for real."

Unlike other college rivalries referred to as wars, the Missouri-Kansas competition actually traces its roots to armed conflict. In the 1860s, tensions between Missouri, a slave state, and Kansas, a free state, led to bloody clashes along the border.

In the most celebrated incident, Confederate sympathizers led by William Quantrill sacked Lawrence and burned most of the town to the ground.

News accounts from earliest football games between the schools recount fights breaking out in the crowd between descendants of Union and Confederate soldiers.

-- From News Services