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Published February 08, 2012, 07:12 PM

UND brings back Sioux nickname in face of NCAA sanctions

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) - Just months after dropping its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo UND says it's bringing them back, despite NCAA sanctions.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Just months after dropping its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo UND says it's bringing them back, despite NCAA sanctions.

Late Tuesday night organizers turned in petitions with more than 16,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office. They want the issue brought to a state-wide vote in June. Those signatures still have to be verified.

Today UND's president says they'll resume using the Indian head logo and Fighting Sioux nickname. Robert Kelley says it's out of respect for the referendum process.

Meanwhile the head of the Board of Higher Education says the board may go to court if a law requiring UND to revert back to using the Fighting Sioux nickname is restored. Grant Shaft plans to meet with Secretary of State Al jaeger Monday.

The Big Sky Conference has made no bones about it: it wants the nickname issue resolved. What does this do to UND's membership into the conference?

Doug Fullerton made no bones about it today; the Big Sky is keeping close tabs on the situation in Grand Forks. UND is set to enter the league in July, but with the nickname now a factor again, the university runs the risk of being expelled from the conference they wanted to get into once the D-1 transition was complete. Fullerton already knows there have been issues scheduling games.

Doug Fullerton - If the vote goes that they have to use the nickname they're out. We've never made any value judgment about the nickname itself, we're going to watch and see what happens if they become a marginalized member, because people won't play them. That's what we'll react to.”

We'll have much more from Fullerton including his response to if the Big Sky is bluffing on this whole issue.

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