Letter To Commissioner Fullerton

We have acquired a letter that former UND football player and State Senator Mac Schneider sent to Commissioner Doug Fullerton of the Big Sky Conference. Schneider spoke out against HB 1263, which required that UND be named the Fighting Sioux, in the last legislative session.   HB 1263 ultimately passed and now UND is stuck in a bad position with the Big Sky conference.  The Presidents of the Big Sky institutions have made it clear they do not want to deal with the nickname issues and ultimately could reject UND’s membership, which was slated to begin in 2012.

This news led to the letter by Senator Schneider, sent today, July 15, 2011.  It is a very well written letter that asks Commissioner Fullerton to wait and see what happens after an upcoming legislative session in November.  One statement by Schneider at the end of the letter seems to sum it up:  “Ultimately, I ask that you give North Dakota lawmakers an opportunity to act before any final decision on UND’s affiliation with the Big Sky Conference is made”.

Schneider took some flak for vocally speaking out against HB 1263 on the senate floor minutes before the vote took place. In hindsight, it appears he knew what the ramifications would be and how this bill could potentially harm the UND athletic department and the student-athletes.

As we have said all along, if Standing Rock does not vote in 2011 then its time to move on. There are no indications that a vote is coming up, which is going to seal the fate of the nickname. Hopefully, the Big Sky will wait long enough to let the corrective measures take place and put the Presidents at ease.

The letter can be found on the Grand Forks Herald website.


9 Responses

  1. MSP Sioux fan

    First of all I have been a dedicated Sioux fan for almost 60 years, but this whole situation is an uncoordinated screw up by the university, the Board of Education, the legislature, the state, the athletic dept, the Sioux tribes, the NCAA, everyone. They all deserve a kick in the rear end. From a distance it is like watching the 5 stooges. If this were front page news anywhere but in GF and eastern ND, North Dakota would be the laughingstock of the country investing and risking this much in an athletic nickname. This issue should have gone away years ago. What a waste of everyone’s time and money.

    1. My thoughts exactly, but almost more like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I am an alum watching from Colorado and I have a hard time coming to terms with how stupid some people are. One thing I don’t miss about ND; GF in particular, are the egos that have escalated this situation to where it is now. I just want to see UND play some real teams (other than hockey)!

  2. what's in a name?

    University of North Dakota Spirit Lake Sioux. there, i changed the name. that was easy. i didn’t even have to remove any logos or alter any uniforms. now let’s move on and kick some butt in the Big Sky!

  3. Siouxfan

    I want to see a break down of how much money each sport makes. The name needs to stay. I think football people are folding so they can be the precious Big Sky conference, I do not think that is worth giving in to the NCAA for. just my opinion. I Love that UND is trying to stand up to the NCAA, someone has to.

    I know I will get ripped but as I said, I think changing the name is a bad idea.

    1. We appreciate that you are a hockey fan but if hockey was independent you would see things much differently. An entire athletic department cannot orphan 14 programs so that one program can keep their logos up.

      1. UND92,96

        It surprises me that some hockey fans don’t seem to grasp the concept that with the advent of the Big 10 hockey conference, keeping the name in defiance of the NCAA would negatively impact hockey scheduling, too.

    2. MSP Sioux fan

      You and folks like you are the problem, not the solution to supporting and improving the athletic programs at UND. This is a national trend, to remove names that “can” be offensive to some people. I am not a name changer originally, but the handwriting is on the wall. To continue to fight this thing is not only stupid, it is now jeopardizing the future of athletics and respect for the university itself. UND is too important to all of us for that to happen.

  4. Siouxfan

    But to what cost, do you think UND just fold and say OK change the name or should they just keep the name but not use it and continue to try and get a resolution. I think if the NCAA wants them to change the name then they should foot the bill to do so. New arenas if they lose the Ralph and needs to be at or above the same standards at the Ralph. I was also very proud to be a part of a state taht was standing up to the NCAA instead of just letting them dictate to UND. It also pisses me off that they have never been to UND and cancelled the sit down meeting. Just goes to show it is all about power for them. Go Sioux!

  5. UNDColorado

    I have been traditionally more of a hockey fan and a logo supporter but you are absolutely correct in that you will NEVER see teams like Minnesota or Wisconsin playing in the Ralph if we have no conference and sanctions imposed on us. Hockey will suffer as well and there is no avoiding that fact. I just hope we wake up and fix this!

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