October 26, 2007

UND must put up or shut up

Sources:  UND must get tribe approval to retain ‘Fighting Sioux’ nicknameThe Fighting Sioux nickname will be retired in three years unless the University of North Dakota gets support from the area’s Sioux tribes, according to terms of a pending settlement agreement.

Anonymous sources familiar with initial settlement talks told The Forum that the proposed agreement with the NCAA allows UND to use the Fighting Sioux nickname in postseason play for the next three years.

Some of the Sioux logos would have to be removed from the Ralph Engelstad Arena, but the more permanent logos, such as those in granite, would stay, sources said.

The agreement includes an acknowledgement by the NCAA that UND was not hostile or abusive toward American Indians in its use of the Fighting Sioux nickname, sources said.
Comment:  The settlement appears to favor UND in the short term, but the NCAA in the long term.

If I were the NCAA, I wouldn't agree to take back its "hostile and abusive" charge. But I could see dropping it for the greater good of compelling UND to act.

In short, the compromise seems reasonable, especially since UND 1) initiated the lawsuit and 2) hasn't gotten unqualified tribal support yet. The compromise essentially would force UND to put up or shut up.

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