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UND, NDSU rivalry future unclear

GRAND FORKS - The current contract between NDSU and the University of North Dakota calling for the renewal of a college football rivalry between the schools says games will be played in 2015 and 2019, both in Fargo.

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GRAND FORKS – The current contract between NDSU and the University of North Dakota calling for the renewal of a college football rivalry between the schools says games will be played in 2015 and 2019, both in Fargo.

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The first of those two games will be played Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Fargodome, resurrecting a rivalry on hold since 2003. The future of the matchup beyond the games in 2015 and 2019 is unclear. UND, NDSU matchup: See your team's turf grow with our interactive map UND athletic director Brian Faison said he hasn't spoken about future rivalry matchups with NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen, who was hired at NDSU last October from a similar position at Stony Brook University in New York. "I'm sure we will talk," Faison said. Faison said UND's football schedule is full through 2019. Larsen, through a school spokesperson, declined a request for an interview for this story. Ryan Perreault, NDSU's director of athletic communications, said in an email that NDSU is focusing on completing schedules for 2016, 2017 and 2018, with a goal of having six home games and one FBS opponent each season. "Our schedule is solid through 2019, and my suspicions are (NDSU is) scheduled out the same," Faison said. "You'd like to get this thing moving again. We'll have to have that conversation, but it might be a ways down the road." Related: After long wait, the 'North Dakota Super Bowl' is back Faison, who has been UND's athletic director since May 2008, said he's had some brief, general discussions with Larsen, apart from football contract talks. "Any time you come to a new job, from a facility and fundraising standpoint, he's got a hectic schedule," Faison said. "We'll have more (conversations) as the year progresses. We'll go from there. My guess is he's pretty busy right now." One the of the many hold-ups in previous UND-NDSU negotiations to renew the rivalry was for the contract to be an even home-and-home series, meaning the game would rotate between Fargo and Grand Forks. Faison, who conceded the initial 2015/2019 contract to be played twice in Fargo to restart the historic rivalry, reiterated this past week his support for a home-and-home arrangement. "It's important that there's a return game, but we haven't had that conversation," Faison said. Last August, NDSU and UND announced the contract for 2015 and 2019. Faison negotiated that contract with NDSU interim athletic director Prakash Mathew. NDSU said the framework for the deal was drawn up by former athletic director Gene Taylor, who left for a position in the Iowa athletic department on Aug. 1, 2014. The two teams, who first met in 1894, have played 110 times.

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