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UND loses 'Fighting Sioux' nickname, logo

Aug. 16, 2011 at 10:56 PM

GRAND FORKS, N.D., Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo will be dropped by the school, officials say.

The Board of Higher Education voted unanimously Monday to retire the nickname, the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald reported.

"We have exhausted all avenues," state Board of Higher Education President Grant Shaft said, "and we are now going to have to retire the nickname."

The decision to ditch the nickname came out of a meeting between North Dakota lawmakers, higher education personnel and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Friday.

At that meeting, the NCAA made it clear to the North Dakota officials the sports organization's policy against the use of Native American nicknames and imagery, as agreed upon in a 2007 lawsuit settlement, applies to the college.

UND is the last school to comply with the policy and, as North Dakota passed legislation mandating the school keep the nickname, entered NCAA sanctions Monday.

"We have a pathway to resolving this," Shaft said, one that "has been agreed to by the governor, the legislative leaders, the state board and the university."

The process of removing the nickname and logo will be predominantly completed by Dec. 31.

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