Big Sky Commissioner weighs in on UND nickname decisionOgden, UT (WDAY TV) - The UND nickname saga has had more twists and turns than a bad movie. After today's revelation of the Fighting Sioux nickname returning, it had shockwaves not only in North Dakota, but all the way to Ogden, Utah, where the home offices of the Big Sky Conference are located.
By: Dom Izzo, WDAY
The UND nickname saga has had more twists and turns than a bad movie. After today's revelation of the Fighting Sioux nickname returning, it had shockwaves not only in North Dakota, but all the way to Ogden, Utah, where the home offices of the Big Sky Conference are located. I visited with Commissioner Doug Fullerton about what this means for UND's athletic future in the league.
Dom: “I think a lot of the nickname supporters would say there are some belief that the Big Sky is bluffing that they won't follow thru with expulsion of UND. What do you say to that?”
Doug Fullerton – Big Sky Commissioner: “That's a sad commentary or probably an expression of ignorance. Any team can be voted out at any time that is not necessarily a curtain they can hide behind. We sit at 13 certain schools, 12 is a much better number. It gives us 6 and 6, gives us an even number for basketball scheduling. If I'm 13th school and 600 miles away, wouldn't be confident that this is a relationship that can be cemented forever.”
Dom: “When you talk to other football coaches in the league, has this brought way more negative attention to the league than you ever thought when inviting them to the conference?”
Doug Fullerton: “Interesting question, negative response, why do we need this aggravation?”
Dom: “You had USD and UND when USD decided to go to the Summit League and the Missouri Valley, did they marginalize in your mind that UND is not as attractive member that they're 700 miles from Greeley, Colorado?”
Doug Fullerton: “Think in a lot of people's minds, it's an isolated school, and an odd number, you lost a travel partner and you also lost an even number, which creates travel partner, no question an unfortunate situation.”
Dom: “If you had to do it over again, would you invite UND?”
Doug Fullerton: “Think we would, right kind of institution, this was settled, not an issue, if was issue, yeah, might have made it very different for our presidents.”