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President may overrule committee on UND 'no nickname' option

After the outcry that arose when a University of North Dakota committee voted to eliminate continuing to play without a nickname, the school's president said he'll reconsider whether to return that as an option to a list of choices to be voted on.

In a memo sent out Friday, UND president Robert Kelley wrote: "Over the next few weeks I plan to further review all the feedback received, and I will consider the possible addition of  'North Dakota' in the voting process."

The four-paragraph memo was published by the Grand Forks Herald.

Earlier in the week, the 11-member committee in charge with coming up with a list of replacements for the "Fighting Sioux" nicknamed that was shelved in 2012 voted 7-4 to eliminate continuing to play as "North Dakota." To some people, that was seen as a vote in support of the Sioux nickname, which was abandoned after the threat of sanctions by the NCAA and protest by American Indian communities.

A rally in support of remaining as North Dakota was attended by about 30 people on Friday. The Herald reported that some wore UND clothing with the Indian logo and others chanted "Let's go, Sioux!"

In his memo, Kelley said he still favors choosing a nickname: " I believe it is in the best interest of the University to have a new nickname — something that will go along with continuing to be “North Dakota” — just as other major universities have nicknames.  I think students, alumni, and fans would benefit from having cheers, chants and songs that connect to a true nickname."

The committee, which includes Minnesota Twins president and UND alumnus Dave St. Peter, voted to forward Fighting Hawks, Nodaks, Sundogs, North Stars and Roughriders to Kelley.

St. Peter was among the four who voted to keep the no-nickname option. The committee had been working since March to winnow down a list from the public of more than 1,000 nickname options.

One committee member, Landon Bahl, told the Herald why he's opposed to continuing to use "North Dakota" without a nickname: "We've been stuck in this rut for several years without having an identity. We are and always will be North Dakota, but the thing with that is also everyone else is North Dakota. That's not an identity that's just for UND."

Ex-Viking Percy Harvin's 'most hated' NFL tour moves to Buffalo

In a report on the most hated persons, places and things in the NFL, Sports Illustrated deemed former Vikings receiver Percy Harvin to be the most hated player in the locker room: "In his first season in Seattle, Harvin got into altercations with teammates Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate. The kicker was Harvin's refusal to play late in Seattle's 2014 Week 6 loss to the Cowboys — allegedly because he was unhappy with how he was used."

In Buffalo, they're not believing some of the things that were said about Harvin in his previous NFL stops, which included four seasons in Minnesota from 2009-2012 before he was traded to Seattle for the draft choice that was used to take Cordarrelle Patterson.

On, Matthew Fairburn writes: "Since joining Buffalo, Harvin has hit all the right notes. He's been friendly to media, made a strong impression on coaches and hasn't caused trouble in the locker room. His career in Buffalo is still in its infancy, though. A lot of Harvin's frustrations in the past had to do with how he was used.Maybe that's why the Bills believe things will be different in Buffalo."

Keep in mind that Harvin played for new Buffalo coach Rex Ryan with the New York Jets last season. So it's not like the decision to sign Harvin was made without some first-hand previous experience.

Here's what Bills receiver coach Sanjay Lal had to say: "I don't know if (his reputation) digs at him. I mean, no one wants to hear negative things about themselves, so I'm sure he's not happy about it. But he knows what's real, and then the people in the know, they also know. The people I trust, they said good things. The people I don't know, they painted this picture. Maybe that's true for them, but it's not been my experience."

Fairburn writes that "Harvin has clicked with Lal on and off the field."

SI's view: "Harvin still insists that he's more than a gadget player. The proof on the field says otherwise."

This one, we suspect, is better to watch from a distance.

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