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North Dakota Governor Signs Law Dropping UND 'Fighting Sioux' Nickname

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The NCAA in 2005 listed the university among a group of schools with objectionable American Indian nicknames, logos and mascots. UND was the only school still fighting the NCAA over the issue.

(The Blaze/AP) North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has signed a law allowing the state's flagship university to shed its 81-year-old Fighting Sioux nickname.

The measure signed Wednesday will let the University of North Dakota satisfy an NCAA request that it drop the name or risk sanctions. Lawmakers had passed a law in March requiring the school to keep the name.

The NCAA in 2005 listed the university among a group of schools with objectionable American Indian nicknames, logos and mascots. UND was the only school still fighting the NCAA over the issue. The $100 million Ralph Engelstad Arena, a privately owned building where UND plays hockey, has thousands of Indian-head logos, including a 10-foot sketch of an Indian head embedded in the granite floor and brass medallions on the outside chairs of most rows.

The new law says UND cannot adopt a new nickname or logo until January 2015. Its supporters say that gives time for the debate to cool off.

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