The latest wrinkle in the University of North Dakota's years-long attempt to replace its Fighting Sioux nickname took another turn on Monday when the former mayor of Bismarck, a North Dakota State graduate, trademarked three of the five choices that are on a ballot intended to decide the issue.
According to the Bismarck Tribune, Marlan (Hawk) Haakenson "said he registered the trade names in an attempt to interfere with the nickname selection process, though a UND official said such an attempt was unlikely to succeed."
Haakenson registered Nodaks, North Stars and Fighting Hawks with the North Dakota secretary of state's office by paying $25 apiece and wasn't shy about his reason for doing so: "As far as I'm concerned, (UND president Robert) Kelley will never get permission from me. I'll use every legal means I have to stop him from using the names."
The two other names, Roughriders and Sundogs, were already registered.
According to UND officials, this may be more of a publicity ploy that a realistic shot at stopping the process, which is scheduled to come to a vote soon among an assortment of UND constituencies.
Haakenson registered the names under the category "Real Estate -- Personal," according to the Tribune. UND spokesman peter Johnson told the newspaper: "We would not be engaging in any real estate activity (using the trade names) so that shouldn't be an issue for us. It's not uncommon to have the same name among sports teams. But it's even more common to have the same names in different endeavors."
Whatever happens, the endgame, according to the former mayor, is to bring back the Fighting Sioux.
"I will predict that sometime in the future, maybe long after I'm dead and gone, the name will come back," he said.