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Judge: focus on talks

Settlement talks may have taken a turn in the court battle between UND and the NCAA over the Fighting Sioux nickname. A July 13 judge's order instructs UND and NCAA attorneys to halt all discovery-related activities until Aug. 19. In his order, G...

Settlement talks may have taken a turn in the court battle between UND and the NCAA over the Fighting Sioux nickname.

A July 13 judge's order instructs UND and NCAA attorneys to halt all discovery-related activities until Aug. 19. In his order, Grand Forks County District Judge Lawrence Jahnke states the pause in the discovery process will allow both sides to "focus their efforts on settling their unresolved issues."

In an e-mail Wednesday evening, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem indicated the pause in the discovery process may be related to settlement discussions between the two parties. Stenehjem's office is representing UND in the case.

"As you know, the parties have been involved in settlement discussions for some time," Stenehjem wrote. "The judge's order gives both sides time to continue discussions without having to worry about the discovery process."

Stenehjem would not comment on specific issues being discussed. Jahnke has consistently urged both sides to try to settle the lawsuit out of court.

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UND is suing the NCAA over a 2005 policy banning most American Indian nicknames, logos and mascots. UND is the only school still fighting the policy out of 20 schools on the original list. All other schools have either agreed to change their nicknames and logos or have won a waiver from the NCAA.

UND won a temporary injunction that allows the school to retain its nickname and logo until the trial scheduled in December.

Marks reports on higher education. Reach him at (701) 780-1105, (800) 477-6572, ext. 105.

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