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NCAA online store pulls merchandise with Sioux references

GRAND FORKS - Jerseys and other merchandise bearing the Fighting Sioux name and logo are being removed from the NCAA's online store, and use of the nickname in merchandise descriptions will be removed, an NCAA spokesman said Wednesday.

GRAND FORKS - Jerseys and other merchandise bearing the Fighting Sioux name and logo are being removed from the NCAA's online store, and use of the nickname in merchandise descriptions will be removed, an NCAA spokesman said Wednesday.

The changes are a consequence of the University of North Dakota being placed on sanctions Monday for continuing to use the Fighting Sioux name and Indian-head logo despite an NCAA policy against the use of Indian names and imagery by member schools' athletic teams.

"Native American imagery already had been removed from the store on NCAA.com, and written references to the nickname are being removed as well," spokesman Erik Christianson told the Herald. "University of North Dakota merchandise not containing text references to the nickname will be available on the site."

UND and North Dakota State University merchandise is grouped together at www.shopncaasports.com .

Many of the NDSU-themed jerseys and T-shirts bear the Bison logo, but most of the UND merchandise - while still listed as "Fighting Sioux" items at midday Wednesday - bore only the names North Dakota or UND or the interlocking ND.

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There were exceptions as of Wednesday afternoon, including several items bearing the logo and a stacked hoody sweatshirt that still carried the name "Fighting Sioux" on the front.

"Those will be removed," Christianson said.

The UND items offered for sale on the site range from jerseys, T-shirts and tank tops to socks, bracelets, hats, key chains, duffel bags and an array of golf gear, including stamped balls, head covers and ball markers.

Many nickname supporters, unhappy with the NCAA's efforts to get the name and logo dropped, have accused the association of hypocrisy for continuing to sell and profit from merchandise bearing the popular logo - often called one of the most admired logos in collegiate sports.

The NCAA has said it continued to list the items bearing the logo while UND sought to gain namesake tribes' approval for continued use of the name. But the time allowed for that effort has run out, and under terms of a 2007 lawsuit, settlement sanctions were imposed on Monday.

Haga writes for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

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