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SIOUX NICKNAME SUPPORT: Two jersey-clad UND grads lend backing in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two hours before North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and a state delegation were to arrive for their meeting today with NCAA leaders over the Fighting Sioux nickname dispute, Dan Kahl and Lucy Klym, both wearing Sioux jerseys, took u...

Grant Shaft, left, and Robert Kelley talk with supporters
State Board of Higher Education president Grant Shaft, left, and University of North Dakota president Robert Kelley, second from left, talk with North Dakota alumni Lucy Klym and Dan Kahl of Indianapolis, after they arrived at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, Friday, Aug. 12, 2011. Kelley and four state leaders had a meeting at the NCAA headquarters to make their case for keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two hours before North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and a state delegation were to arrive for their meeting today with NCAA leaders over the Fighting Sioux nickname dispute, Dan Kahl and Lucy Klym, both wearing Sioux jerseys, took up posts outside the NCAA headquarters building here.

"I just want to say thanks and good luck to the governor and the group," Kahl said.

Kahl, 55, originally from Cando, N.D., and a 1977 UND graduate, lives now in Cicero, Ind., but has season men's hockey tickets at UND.

"I get up there a couple times a year," he said.

"If I felt for one second that I thought the logo was demeaning, or if I had seen anything negative while I was there, I wouldn't be sitting here today."

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Klym, 25, attended UND from 2004 to 2007, earning master's degrees in public administration and health administration.

Both her parents also are UND alumni, and the family frequently drives from their home in Wyoming to attend weekend hockey games in Grand Forks.

She said her presence here today "is about pride for your school, and pride for your town."

She said she has attended Sioux hockey games in Denver and Colorado Springs and "I have never seen the Sioux name demeaned."

Kahl noted that the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe "had an up and open vote" on the nickname, "and it passed," and he wishes Standing Rock had allowed such a vote.

"If they want to end the controversy, have a vote," he said. "If it's fair and goes against the nickname, I'd be the first to say 'OK, let's move on.' But it's a minority that's speaking for the majority."

Kahl said there "are so many bigger problems on the reservations," and he said the tribes should "just use the logo and leverage it" for help with those problems.

Klym said the jersey she's wearing is 11 years old. Kahl said he was wearing one of four Fighting Sioux jerseys he owns.

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Asked what she hoped to see come out of today's meeting, Klym said, "I hope they're able to keep the logo and continue to show respect to the Sioux tribes."

However, she was not especially confident that the NCAA would budge.

"They're their own entity," she said with a shrug.

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