North Dakota plans to retire Sioux nickname, logo

A report on says North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple will push to resume the process of retiring the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo from the University of North Dakota after the NCAA reiterated its policy on Native American mascots, nicknames and imagery during a meeting Friday in Indianapolis.

Dalrymple and a group of state representatives had hoped to convince the NCAA to grant the school a waiver of the policy, which prohibits nicknames and imagery that are deemed hostile or abusive toward Native Americans, before facing sanctions on Aug. 15. Those sanctions would prohibit UND from hosting postseason tournaments or using its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo in any NCAA postseason events.

“It’s our understanding coming out of this meeting that the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo will be dropped,” said NCAA VP for communications Bob Williams in the article. “The contingent from North Dakota made it clear that they were committed to changing the legislative action that would require retention of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. However, our settlement agreement remains in effect and as a result, the University of North Dakota will be subject to the policy effective Aug. 15.”

The North Dakota board of education was in the process of retiring the nickname over the last two years, but it was stalled by a legislative bill passed in April. The new law, which took affect Aug. 1, mandated the continued use of the Fighting Sioux nickname and placed the authority for a name change in the legislature’s hands.

Dalrymple said he will ask the North Dakota legislative leadership to allow legislation to be introduced during a special session on Nov. 7 that will transfer the responsibility for the logo and nickname from the legislature back to the board of higher education, which could then retire it. Dalrymple said a nickname change would also require the approval of the UND alumni association’s board of directors.