The people have spoken, at least about two dozen of you. In response to my column of a week ago regarding whether the University of North Dakota needs a nickname to replace the Fighting Sioux, the answer is a resounding no.
After state voters widely favored allowing UND to retire the Fighting Sioux nickname, nickname supporters filed documents to continue their legal efforts against the NCAA.
The Spirit Lake tribe’s Committee for Understanding and Respect has appealed last month’s decision by U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson to dismiss its lawsuit against the NCAA, in which the tribe argued that Sioux people were inappropriately denied “a seat at the table” in negotiations over use of the name, among other issues.
Espegard: Bill 'just doesn't make sense' The Fighting Sioux nickname bill would accomplish nothing more than put UND back in the difficult position it was in when it first tangled with the NCAA, a member of the State Board of Higher Education said. The board has decided to oppose the bill, which passed the House in February and is headed for a hearing before the Senate Education Committee.
Jon Backes, president of the State Board of Higher Education, testified before the House Education Committee on Wednesday that he supported the legislative process concerning bills that would have UND retain the Fighting Sioux nickname, but he — like the board as a whole — was neutral on the bills. His position was characterized incorrectly in a story on Page 5A Thursday. Also, his first name was misspelled.
Less than a day after a news story implied UND pressured the Summit League to take a stand against the controversial Fighting Sioux nickname to help place the school’s potential membership on the fast track, UND athletic department officials went on the offensive to deny the allegation.
Members of the State Board of Higher Education did all they could over the past three years to afford the people of North Dakota’s two Sioux Indian tribes opportunities to speak to the UND Fighting Sioux nickname controversy, board Vice President Grant Shaft told a legislative committee Wednesday.
UND President Robert Kelley repeated Wednesday his denial that he ever asked Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple to publicly come out against accepting the Fighting Sioux as a league member until the school's controversial nickname issue was resolved.
I’m like many of you, there’s nothing I look forward to more all year than the arrival of the Sioux-Gopher hockey series. But this could well be the last time the Gophers and Fighting Sioux meet under the team's current nicknames if the Fighting Sioux nickname is retired. That would be a shame.
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