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NCAA waits to hear from tribes on North Dakota nickname


UND Sioux Logo

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The NCAA says it is waiting for information from the three Sioux tribes in North Dakota before ruling on the University of North Dakota's appeal over the use of its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.

NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said officials have made repeated requests for more information from the Spirit Lake, Standing Rock and Sisseton-Wahpeton tribes.

"We would like to see it resolved as quickly as possible, but we really would like the input from all of the various Sioux tribes in the state," Williams said.

The NCAA included UND last month on a list of 18 schools that it said use American Indian nicknames and logos that are "hostile or abusive." After Feb. 1, the NCAA said, those schools would not be allowed to hold NCAA tournaments or wear their nicknames or logos in the postseason.

Three schools _ Florida State (Seminoles), University of Utah (Utes) and Central Michigan (The Chippewas) _ were removed from the list after submitting appeals of their own. Those appeals were answered by the NCAA in less than a week. UND President Charles Kupchella sent his school's seven-page appeal about three weeks ago, saying UND respects its Fighting Sioux nickname and that it is not hostile or abusive.


Williams said other groups, some on the UND campus, have supplied information to the NCAA about the nickname, but the NCAA's "primary focus" is the opinion of the tribes.

On Aug. 30, the same day UND's appeal was sent, a general assembly of about 70 Spirit Lake tribal members urged tribal leaders to sign a resolution against the nickname and logo. Days later, tribal leaders decided not to rush into a new resolution before they heard from UND officials. The Spirit Lake reservation, near Devils Lake, is the closest reservation to the UND campus.

Earlier this month, the 10-member United Tribes of North Dakota added its unanimous opposition to the nickname and logo. The United Tribes, including two members from each of the state's five tribes, also asked the NCAA to rule against UND's appeal.

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