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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UND-NDSU rivalry won't be returning anytime soon

UND and NDSU football helmets

The UND-NDSU football rivalry doesn’t appear to be close to returning.

UND athletic director Brian Faison and NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor have been talking, but still disagree about the terms of the rivalry, according to e-mails between the two that the Herald obtained through an open records request.

In April 2011, it appeared the sides were close to a deal to play in Fargo in 2015 and in Grand Forks in 2017.

At that time, Taylor wrote in an e-mail to Faison: “Let’s focus on 2015 in Fargo on September 19th (that is the only date that works for us in 2015) and return to Grand Forks in 2017 on September 9th or 16th. Let me know which date you prefer in 2017. Once we finalize dates let’s discuss on how we want to put this out.”

Faison responded: “The dates of September 19th in Fargo in 2015 and September 9th in Grand Forks in 2017 will work for us in the renewal of football competition between UND and NDSU. I would suggest that we meet in person to work through the details (tickets, start times, media strategy for the announcement, etc.) and that we do this as expeditiously as possible.”

No announcement came, however.

In January 2013, Faison e-mailed Taylor a draft of a contract for the dates previously discussed. Taylor responded that he would get back to Faison.

This January, Faison again e-mailed Taylor a draft of the contract for the 2015 and 2017 games, but Taylor responded by counter-proposing that both games be played in Fargo.

“A lot has changed since 2010 with our ticket demands and revenue number we need to generate out of football,” Taylor wrote. “We would still be willing to offer you a guarantee for 2015 and 2017.”

Taylor also offered a proposal to play a single game in Fargo in 2015 with a guarantee between $175,000 and $190,000.

Faison said he discussed the proposal with UND president Robert Kelley and head coach Bubba Schweigert and that it will not work for UND. Faison counter-proposed moving the proposed 2017 Grand Forks game to 2018, 2019 or 2020.

UND and NDSU haven’t played in football since 2003. At that time, NDSU moved to Division I status and UND remained Division II. UND later moved up to Division I.

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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