September 11, 2007

UND fibbed about nickname support

NICKNAME LAWSUIT:  NCAA asks judge to reconsider case orderIn its "Motion for Partial Reconsideration," the NCAA argues UND itself may have violated NCAA bylaws, making it ineligible to bring its case.

The motion accuses UND of misleading the NCAA during its administrative appeals process by consistently claiming the Spirit Lake Sioux Nation supports UND's continued use of its nickname.

A 2000 Spirit Lake Tribal Council resolution states: "as long as something positive comes from this controversy, (the tribe is) not opposed to keeping the 'Sioux' name and present logo at UND."

UND consistently has maintained that the resolution should be read as a vote of support for the nickname, but tribal officials did not respond to several NCAA requests for clarification on the tribe's position.

In an Aug. 13 interview with the Herald, Spirit Lake Tribal Chairwoman Myra Pearson said she reads the resolution as neither supporting nor opposing the nickname. She said she does not expect the Tribal Council to clarify its position or to reconsider the nickname issue.

"Throughout the appeal process at issue, plaintiff consistently maintained that it had the endorsement and support of the Spirit Lake Nation," the NCAA motion states. "Those claims are also an integral part of the pending litigation. . . . Based on recent developments, it is becoming increasingly difficult to accept that plaintiff could have made these claims in good faith, much less 'utmost good faith.'"

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