The NCAA banned UND from hosting postseason tournaments and said the school could not use the nickname or logo in postseason play, or else it must forfeit those games. The men’s hockey team wore Sioux-logo jerseys in the regular season but switched sweaters in the playoffs.
A settlement agreement with the NCAA called for UND to retire the nickname unless it received approval from both the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes by the end of 2010. Only Spirit Lake passed a resolution supporting the name. Standing Rock has not held a vote.
The law forcing the school to use the name and logo was approved in March 2011 but was repealed in a special session after NCAA representatives told state officials that it would not budge on sanctions. Mr. Johnson’s group then collected the necessary signatures for the ballot measure.
Mr. Johnson said his group was outspent 25-to-1.
Mr. O'Keefe said the alumni association spent about $250,000 on the campaign to retire the nickname, all through donations. His group is prepared to launch a similar effort against a possible constitutional amendment, but Mr. O'Keefe is calling on the nickname backers to stand down.
“All it does is hold the University of North Dakota hostage and create more division,” he said.
Associated Press writer James MacPherson contributed to this report from Bismarck.
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