FARGO, N.D. (AP) — University of North Dakota officials say they are working out details to resume retirement of the school’s Fighting Sioux nickname, but haven’t mapped out plans for a new moniker.

The Grand Forks college was about six months into its transition plan when lawmakers passed a bill in April requiring the school to keep the nickname. State leaders now say they want to repeal that law since the NCAA has made clear it won’t back down on penalties for symbols it considers offensive.

School president Robert Kelley will release a new timeline for abolishing the nickname and the logo of an American Indian warrior, UND spokesman Peter Johnson said.

“I know the president is giving it some thought, but he hasn’t articulated yet exactly how he’s going to restart the process,” Johnson said. “We feel very comfortable that the process we had in place was a very good process. We can probably pick that up and maybe with some tweaks, move it forward.”

The original plan called for the formation of three committees to work out details of the transition. The group to determine the new nickname and logo had not yet been formed when the Legislature issued its mandate.

Kelley has said he was no hurry to find a new name. “I think that’s the prevailing attitude,” Johnson said.

Higher education board president Grant Shaft, a Grand Forks lawyer and UND alumnus, said the delay caused by the legislation isn’t a major roadblock.

“A lot of those committees had finished their work by the time we suspended their activities,” Shaft said. “Other than finding a new nickname, I think they’re down to more or less some practical considerations with some of the venues and uniforms.”

The higher education board has directed Kelley to “substantially complete” the process of retiring the nickname by the end of December. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Indian head logo will be gone from all uniforms by then, Shaft said.

“For instance, we know that through the ordering process, we probably won’t have different hockey uniforms until well after Christmas break,” he said. “The NCAA has indicated that those aren’t the types of things they’re worried about. They just wanted a solid commitment that the logo was being retired.”

Some sports have already moved away from the Indian head illustration. The football team is using an interlocking “ND” that has been a secondary logo for several years.

“The last time I was at a football game at the Alerus Center, I don’t recall seeing the Fighting Sioux logo anywhere,” Shaft said. “Some of the teams are well down the road.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (12)
  1. I thought says:

    I thought they were having to change it because Sioux indians were complaining about it.

  2. TPaw says:

    If we elect Shelly, maybe she can let us keep the logo along with $2.00 a gallon gas. She can do everything. Maybe Marcus can do my hair.

  3. MAx says:

    Why even use a “mascot”? Marketing? Its kind of silly. They should simply start calling themselves UND or university of north dakota. ND on the jerseys is plenty. Either that or send a message and use an ethnic name from a group that is a little more tolerant than the Sioux, similar to Vikings/fighting Irish. What a huge waste of resources to force a school to do this. What is the NCAAs mission statement? They should stick to scheduling sports games and stay out of politics.

  4. Jim says:

    “…the Legislature passed a law requiring it to keep the name and logo.”

    Good to see the ND legislature focusing on the big, important issues of the day.

  5. quentin says:

    Suggest they go with The F______ Italians.

  6. Otto says:

    What about Notre Dame and the fighting Irish? There’s gotta be an offended irish person out there some where

    1. Brad says:

      Who you callin’ an offended Irish?

  7. TPaw says:

    How about the University of California Irvine “Ant Eaters”. Do you think the ants are offened?

  8. pretzeldude says:

    How about the Minnesota Gophers, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Iowa Hawkeyes, there are so many nicknames for all kinds of rediculous things. This name changing is BS.

  9. dont you wanna know says:

    how about pro team like the washington redskins! like thats not offensive. its all a bunch of b.s.

  10. TwinsRAwesome says:

    I would suggest the “warm pink fuzzies” but pacifists would be upset I am sure!

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