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Law lets UND drop Fighting Sioux name

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Associated Press
November 10, 2011
— Like many of her classmates and University of North Dakota students who came before her, senior Annie Hessinger says it doesn’t matter that the school is shedding its 81-year-old nickname after a drawn-out dispute with the NCAA. She’s Fighting Sioux and always will be, no matter what new nickname the school eventually picks.

She’ll still wear clothing bearing the Fighting Sioux logo, a colorful profile of an American Indian warrior’s head. And she’ll carry on school traditions that started long before she arrived, such as ending the national anthem with “home of the Sioux” instead of “home of the brave” before games.


“I’ve grown up going to Sioux games. My whole family has gone here,” said the 21-year-old graphic design major, whose parents and three siblings attended UND. “All the students here are Fighting Sioux.”


Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed a law Wednesday overturning a last-ditch attempt in March by the Legislature—which counts many UND alumni among its members—to mandate that UND keep the Fighting Sioux name. That maneuvering caused scheduling headaches for UND teams and threatened its bid to join the Big Sky Conference as it transitions from Division II to Division I sports.


Since August, the NCAA has banned UND from hosting postseason tournaments and said the school’s athletes may not wear uniforms with the nickname or logo during postseason play.


UND teams have been known as the Fighting Sioux since 1930.


Under the law signed Wednesday, UND can’t adopt a new nickname or logo until January 2015—a provision intended to allow the furor over the change to quiet before the university re-brands itself, officials said.



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