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Fighting Sioux Nickname May be Over; NCAA Holds Ground - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fighting Sioux Nickname May be Over; NCAA Holds Ground in Agreement

Sioux Nickname May Be Over

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UPDATED 8:52 PM

The fight to keep the UND Fighting Sioux nickname and logo may be over but what's next for the university may be far from done.

A cordial meeting with the NCAA and state and UND leaders in Indianapolis ended with disappointment today after the association denied changing its agreement to drop the nickname and logo.

Representative Al Carlson says it's still too early to tell what comes next, but with four days away from a deadline, when sanctions take effect-- the university is planning ahead.

"The reaction was the agreement is in place..the deadline is in place..and things are not going to change pretty much, " says Carlson. "There's a point in time where you have to move on."

Those are words some never thought they'd hear from Carlson; but after years of pushing to keep the UND Fighting Sioux nickname, the NCAA today gave its final no.

"We now know that the consequences of that are greater than realized," says Governor Jack Dalrymple.

The NCAA held their ground saying the price of keeping the logo could cost UND  its spot in the Big Sky Conference. Sanctions that go into effect on Monday would include a ban on hosting postseason games and prohibit UND athletes from wearing the nickname and logo in post-season play.

"I think that the very people they're trying to protect here are the ones they're hurting in this agreement," says Carlson.

As for his nickname bill, it's too early to tell what legislators will do during a special session set for November. In the meantime, Carlson says they will be tackling the hurdles ahead; one being dealing with more than two thousand logos at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. And more importantly -- the loss of a 80-year legacy.

Carlson says the NCAA is flexible about how long it'll take to remove all those logos. They plan to make a trip to Grand Forks to assess the situation more. The governor plans to introduce legislation to delegate the issue back to the state board.

4:00 PM

The fight to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname may be over. The NCAA says they will not be changing its agreement to drop the nickname and logo on Monday.

Governor Jack Dalrymple, House Majority Leader Al Carlson, and other state and UND leaders met with the NCAA in Indianapolis this afternoon.

Representative Al Carlson says he's disappointed about the turnout. He says the 30-minute meeting with NCAA leaders was cordial, but when it came to changing the agreement four days before the deadline, they did not budge.

Carlson says he and state and UND leaders did bring everything to the table -- pitching that even though Standing Rock was never going to have a vote, but they were the ones who gave UND the name the first place. The Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe gave its blessing through a referendum.

But the NCAA says that was not enough -- and held its ground that the agreement specifically said both tribes have to take a vote. And if they violated it, the effects would be detrimental.

"We now know that the consequences of that are greater than realized last winter. This is going to lead to problems with UND joining the Big Sky conference," says Governor Jack Dalrymple.

"I think that the very people they're trying to protect here are the ones they're hurting in this agreement, so I'll always be on the side of retaining the name," says Rep. Carlson. "There's a point in time where you have to move on, but I don't like the thought of it but that's the state's fate evidently."

Dalrymple added the only thing the NCAA was flexible about was the process of taking down thousands of logos at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. They plan on making a trip to Grand Forks to see what kind of timeline needs to be set.

As for the new state law to keep the nickname, it still stands. They now need to decide what they need to do with it in a special session. But the governor and all legislators say whatever happens, they don't want to do anything to harm the university system.

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