The Fighting Sioux are still the Fighting Sioux at least for now.
In the latest twist in a years-long battle, University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley said Wednesday that the school will resume using the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo to comply with state law.
Supporters of keeping the nickname, which the NCAA?has deemed hostile and abusive, filed petitions Tuesday with roughly 17,000 signatures, more than enough to put the issue to a state-wide vote in June. The signatures still have to be validated, but it certainly appears supporters will have more than the required minimum of 13,452 names.
The petition drive began after the North Dakota Legislature repealed a law in November requiring UND?to keep the nickname and logo. Because the petition contained enough signatures, the law requiring the nickname's usage remains in place. Kelley said Wednesday that UND will revert to using the name, which the university had already begun phasing out on athletic team uniforms, websites and other uses, to comply with the law.
Members of the State Board of Higher Education have said they will meet with North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to discuss the possibility of going to court to block the law's reinstatement.
It puts UND?right back to where the university was before the law was repealed which is in limbo. It's an uncomfortable place for UND to be, because the university had begun moving forward with retiring the nickname. Where the issue goes from here is anybody's guess. But it's clear the emotional issue isn't going away anytime soon, and that's unfortunate.