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Mum's the word after nickname discussion

The North Dakota University System chancellor spoke with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Friday, but what they discussed or what that conversation could mean for UND's Fighting Sioux nickname will be unclear until a meeting Thursday.

The North Dakota University System chancellor spoke with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Friday, but what they discussed or what that conversation could mean for UND's Fighting Sioux nickname will be unclear until a meeting Thursday.

Chairman Charles W. Murphy said he met with Chancellor Bill Goetz on Friday afternoon, but said they agreed to not talk about their meeting. "Still, everything's the same," Murphy said.

Debra Anderson, NDUS spokeswoman, said the Murphy and Goetz are working together to create bullet points based on their discussion, but there would not be a news release until the State Board of Higher Education meeting Thursday in Minot.

"What he puts together will be for presentation at the board meeting on Thursday," she said.

Anderson said she couldn't discuss the topics of the conversation. "As Charlie (Murphy) told you, they agreed they would keep their discussion confidential," she said.

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The board has been urging the tribe to decide whether it would hold a referendum on the nickname. The Summit League athletic conference, which UND wants to join, won't accept any application before the nickname issue is settled.

UND technically has until Nov. 30, 2010, to win the support of both Sioux tribes in the state, but the board doesn't want to wait that long.

Reach Johnson at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send e-mail to rjohnson@gfherald.com .

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