On Tuesday, the North Dakota Supreme Court declined to address the issue of whether a referendum on the University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" nickname violates the state's constitution.
Actually, three of the state's five justices were willing to decide the issue, but four were needed for the court to agree to hear it.
Here's where things stand, according to the excellent writer/reporter/Dakotologist (and former Star Tribune reporter) Chuck Haga of the Grand Forks Herald.
*The referendum will take place as scheduled in June.
*Backers of the nickname are happy.
*The issue could be taken up by the court if the referendum passes and the nickname stays required under state law.
In other words, there are more chapters to this long, long story.
Basically, what's happening is that North Dakotans who are attached to the Fighting Sioux nickname have decided to damn the consequences being set forth by the NCAA and the university.
Haga wrote: "UND President Robert Kelley issued a statement ... saying the court’s decision makes it 'important that the voters of North Dakota become fully educated' that there would be 'long-term negative consequences' for UND and its athletic programs"
Kelley's statement said that if the June vote is successful, the NCAA sanctions “will compromise recruitment, scheduling and UND’s relationship with other collegiate athletics programs.”
Here is Haga's complete story.
Here is the court ruling, if you're up for 23 pages of legal chatter.
Here is the comment section from the Grand Forks Herald, which includes the notion that voters in Fargo will vote to keep the nickname to thwart UND's ability to compete in NCAA Division I sports.
Are North Dakota State fans that cruel?
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