UND's Fighting Sioux Nickname To Be Retired By Year's End
North Dakota's Board of Higher Education yesterday decided to "retire the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname by year's end in a move that anticipates lawmakers will soon repeal a law requiring the school to keep the nickname," according to Dale Wetzel of the AP. The board "agreed unanimously to restart the process of dumping the nickname and a logo depicting an American Indian warrior." North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and state Rep. Al Carlson "were among a group of North Dakota officials who met with NCAA President Mark Emmert last week in an attempt to allow UND to continue using the logo and nickname." Emmert, however, "declined to give ground." The Board of Higher Education "had previously ordered UND President Robert Kelley to get rid of the logo and nickname," but those efforts "were suspended in May when the Legislature ordered UND to keep them" (AP, 8/16). In North Dakota, Chuck Haga noted UND as of yesterday was "under NCAA sanctions for continuing to use the Fighting Sioux name and Indian-head logo." However, Board of Higher Education President Grant Shaft said that Emmert "'will contact the commissioner of the Big Sky Conference' and convey the NCAA's satisfaction with the understanding reached on Friday, clearing the way for UND's entry into the Division I conference next year." Shaft said that he "expects the university 'between now and November would recommence the transitioning out of the logo,' a process UND started in spring 2010 but suspended following adoption of the nickname law." He added that "some 'practical issues,' such as UND teams appearing in upcoming seasons in Fighting Sioux jerseys, 'won’t be stumbling blocks' ... because the NCAA understands the timing involved in such contracts" (GRAND FORKS HERALD, 8/16).