As the University of North Dakota fights to preserve its Fighting Sioux nickname while moving its entire athletics program to the NCAA’s top division, the university has hit a roadblock: More teams are refusing to schedule games against it, according to The Minnesota Daily.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the latest to take a pass on scheduling such games, based on a policy discouraging play against universities with American Indian logos. Minnesota, however, will continue to play North Dakota’s men’s and women’s ice-hockey teams, which are the only two Fighting Sioux sports to compete at the Division I level.
The rest of North Dakota’s teams are moving to Division I, where they will begin competing in 2008. The move up will give North Dakota more chances to play against big-time Division I universities. But some institutions, including the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of Iowa, also have policies discouraging them from playing against universities with American Indian logos and mascots.
North Dakota sued the NCAA last fall over restrictions on using its Fighting Sioux name. Last month the trial was moved to December 2007, but the state judge presiding over the case is encouraging the two sides to settle.