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NCAA Will Not Change Policy – Will Penalize North Dakota University Fighting Sioux for Using American-Indian Themes

The NCAA has declared they will penalize North Dakota University for violating their stand on using American-Indian mascots, themes and logos.

When North Dakota legislature first caught wind of North Dakota University attempting to change their name to be in compliance with the NCAA they stepped in and halted the change. A year ago, North Dakota University agreed to retire all things mirroring American-Indians in mid-August, but the sate legislature pre-empted those plans last March by approving a bill that requires North Dakota University to keep them.

Republican and house majority leader, Al Carlson (seen to the right) of Fargo was the bill’s chief sponsor. State Rep. Carlson has been attempting to organize a meeting between NCAA representatives and his fellow state leaders, Governor Jack Dalrymple and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to try and discuss a way for the University to maintain its mascot, nickname and logo. A spokesman for Dalrymple said the governor would attend such a meeting.

Carlson had this to say in regards to the proposed meeting:

“I suppose (the NCAA) doesn’t want anybody to think they ever reverse policies. But they also need to listen to what we have to say. I do believe they’ll sit down with us, and at least listen … I think it’s worth a try.” -AP

Carlson had this to say in regards to the importance of Governor Dalrymple being involved in the attempt to keep the mascots, nicknames and logos.

“It isn’t every day that the governor of a state gets on a plane and goes to talk to the NCAA. I think that’s a whole lot different than dealing with a board of regents, or a board of higher ed.” -AP

Should North Dakota keep the nickname and logo past Aug. 15,the NCAA has decided the university’s teams will be barred from using the nickname and logo in postseason tournaments, and the school will not host postseason tournaments. Also,  North Dakota hopes to join the Big Sky Conference in July 2012. The conference has said it may consider additional sanctions against North Dakota if the nickname and logo are kept. The conference is adding teams as a part of its switch from the NCAA’s Division II to Division I.

Republican and North Dakota Senate majority leader Bob Stenehjem,  has come out and said the Legislature may consider repealing the current law that forces North Dakota to keep the nickname during a planned November special session on legislative redistricting and health care.

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