Kupchella: Fund has received $200,000
The NCAA Litigation Fund has received about $200,000 from 170 separate donors, UND President Charles Kupchella said Thursday. In a statement, Kupchella also said the Engelstad Family Foundation "are pleased and proud to let it be known" that the ...
The NCAA Litigation Fund has received about $200,000 from 170 separate donors, UND President Charles Kupchella said Thursday.
In a statement, Kupchella also said the Engelstad Family Foundation "are pleased and proud to let it be known" that the foundation supports the university.
Ralph Engelstad, a former UND goalie and Las Vegas businessman who died in 2002, spent more than $100 million building UND's Ralph Engelstad Arena, which prominently displays the Fighting Sioux logo.
"They believe in and support the university's leadership," Kupchella said of the Engelstad Family Foundation, "and while the foundation would prefer to see this matter settled outside of court, they are prepared to continue to support the university and thestate of North Dakota."
Kupchella's statement did not say how much the Englestad foundation contributed to the litigation fund.
UND is suing the National Collegiate Athletic Association over a mandate barring the team from displaying its Fighting Sioux logo in postseason play or hosting playoff games.
Kupchella did not say whether the Engelstad Foundation is among the small group of donors who he previously said have pledged to make up any shortfall if UND's lawsuit against the NCAA runs out of money before reaching trial in December.
UND alumnus Mark Foss, along with the Grand Forks law firm Caldis, Tingum and Tingum, organized the NCAA Litigation Fund in June after North Dakota's State Board of Higher Education ordered that the legal case receive no public funds.
Donations to the litigation fund were used to pay bills from Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem's office, which is representing UND in the case, and may have been used to pay three attorneys with Fabian and Clenendin, a Salt Lake City-based law firm representing UND as special assistant attorneys general.
Caldis, Tingum and Tingum began the process of shutting down the litigation fund after Foss suffered a heart attack about six weeks ago, according to an e-mail from UND Alumni Foundation President Tim O'Keefe. The Alumni Foundation, which declined to name the fund's organizer, did not name Foss in the e-mail. Documents from the secretary of state's office list Foss as the fund's organizer.
The litigation fund will be replaced by a separate account managed by the Alumni Foundation, O'Keefe said in the e-mail. That fund has started accepting donations, according to a separate statement by Kupchella.
As of Thursday, no money from the fund managed by Caldis, Tingum and Tingum had been transferred to the Alumni Foundation fund, according to UND spokesman Peter Johnson. Johnson said he did not know if any money has come into the foundation account through other sources, or if any money has been paid out of the account for anything related to the nickname lawsuit.
Stenehjem said his office has billed $37,000 on the case so far, and all but $5,000 has been paid. The Alumni Foundation has not released what has been paid to the Fabian and Clenendin firm or to any sources.
The Alumni Foundation did not say whether the law firm is being paid by the original litigation fund, the foundation-managed fund or a another party.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.