How would Sioux 'cap' a championship?

Say the UND men's hockey team cruises to another national championship this spring, and in the moments after the final buzzer a team trainer hands out new shirts and caps bearing the title and ... what?...

Say the UND men's hockey team cruises to another national championship this spring, and in the moments after the final buzzer a team trainer hands out new shirts and caps bearing the title and ... what?

Put aside for a moment the "what ifs" spawned by potential state action on the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. The bill making its way through the Legislature could upend a good many plans and decisions.

But as part of its ongoing transition away from the Sioux name and logo, the university determined last year that no new designs incorporating the symbols would be approved after Oct. 1, 2010.

So the deadline for new designs has passed.

But that doesn't necessarily mean the hockey players -- or title-winning golfers or the women skaters or the baseball team or any of their fans -- couldn't celebrate by modeling a proud new championship cap bearing the Fighting Sioux name and logo.


The question came up recently during a meeting of a transition committee, and Robert Boyd, a former UND vice president tapped by President Robert Kelley to lead the transition process, provided an answer in a written update circulated today.

"Procedures that would allow for this exception are being developed," Boyd reported. "The exception would be exclusive to those (vendors) already holding licenses."

Peter Johnson, a UND spokesman, said that Athletic Director Brian Faison, the university's general counsel and other officials "are still looking at what those procedures would be" to permit a new championship design.

"We have some possibilities (for championships), some contenders, and we want to be ready for that potential," Johnson said. "If any of our teams go on to win championships and they want baseball caps or shirts to reflect that, companies that already hold the license would have the opportunity to provide them."

No deadlines for retiring your Sioux cap, sweatshirt

After the State Board of Higher Education directed UND in April 2010 to begin the transition away from the beleaguered symbols, UND and the Licensing Resource Group of Holland, Mich., began developing a timeline for their retirement.

On July 1, the Fighting Sioux logo and nickname were removed from a trademark artwork website. Vendors holding "Sioux head" and standard UND licenses could be renewed for a year, but no new "Sioux head" licenses would be issued.

And no new designs bearing the nickname or logo would be approved after Oct. 1.


According to the timeline, all Fighting Sioux-branded merchandise should be off retail floors by July 1, 2011, unless authorized by the university. "We're hoping retailers will work with us on that," Johnson said. "But we can't confiscate merchandise, and we have no interest in trying to police those things even if we could."

Kelley and others have said repeatedly that nobody is going to tell anyone wearing a Fighting Sioux cap or jersey to take it off.

The transition -- unless halted in coming weeks by state action -- is to be complete by Aug. 25. After that date and until a new nickname is adopted, UND athletic and academic teams are to use "North Dakota" or the interlocked ND.

The vendor timeline anticipated the possible "limited edition use" of the Fighting Sioux name and logo after June 30, 2011.

"In order to capitalize on special events, milestones and historic opportunities, the university does intend to protect the Fighting Sioux logo and nickname," the memo states, "and may consider limited usage as deemed appropriate by the situation and university officials.

"Any program created for these purposes would be run on a limited basis with select licensees, retailers and suppliers and controlled by the university."

A policy allowing new championship designs may extend the deadline for last day of sale past the July 1 deadline.

Reach Haga at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572, ext. 102; or send e-mail to .

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