Solution to Fighting Sioux controversy drags on

With North Dakota Board of Higher Education President Grant Shaft having suggested the retirement of the controversial Fighting Sioux college mascot, the University of North Dakota's president and athletics director says the school would indeed be better off without it.

From the Associated Press:

(Today) members of the North Dakota House and Senate education committees may decide if they want to go along.

During this week's special legislative session, lawmakers are deciding whether to repeal a law that says UND has to keep its Fighting Sioux nickname and American Indian head logo.

At a hearing, UND President Robert Kelley says he's spent about half his time on the issue since he became president three years ago.

Athletics director Brian Faison says if UND keeps the name it could become a school without a conference. Faison says there aren't enough independent schools to fill out a sports schedule.

Now the AP reports:

Some North Dakota lawmakers want the University of North Dakota to delay replacing its Fighting Sioux athletics nickname.

The North Dakota House and Senate education committees are considering a bill to allow UND to retire the Fighting Sioux nickname and its American Indian head logo.

Grand Forks Rep. Stacey Dahl says the measure would prevent UND from adopting a new nickname and logo for three years. She calls it a "cooling-off" period.

Board of Higher Education vice president Duaine Espegard says the board supports the idea.

House Republican majority leader Al Carlson has another amendment to block the university from dropping the nickname and logo until all lawsuits over the issue have been settled.

Espegard calls Carlson's proposal "wrongheaded."

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