North Dakota Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by ‘Fighting Sioux’ Supporters

The North Dakota Supreme Court upheld a lower-court decision today that hastens the day when the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux mascot and nickname are officially retired. In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court held that the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education has the authority to change those controversial symbols before a November 30 deadline that was set in an agreement with the NCAA. Under that deal, the university pledged to retire the Indian images unless two Sioux tribes agreed to retain them. Only one of the two did, and members of that tribe had asked the high court to reverse the lower-court ruling.

[Update:] The state board, meeting later in the day, said a decision it reached last May to retire the nickname and mascot would stand and advised university leaders to go ahead with the transition, The Grand Forks Herald reported. It’s not clear how long that will take, but the university’s athletics Web site said the teams would remain the Fighting Sioux through the next academic year.

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