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North Dakota is being included in the Big Sky's spring meeting..... Big Sky Conference deals with expansion

"I think the biggest thing right now is for us to get a handle on the expansion of the Big Sky Conference in another year," Montana athletic director Jim O'Day said. "We need to come out of the meeting knowing how we're going to crown our champions, for example in football, what are procedures in our tournaments are going to be, for example in men's and women's basketball and volleyball, and how many teams are going to go into the playoffs. We have to be able to look at those with the addition of new teams and see if they are the right numbers.

"At the same time in the back of our minds we have to remember that the presidents wanted us to really watch our budgets while we're doing this. There's a lot of challenges ahead in those areas."

"Another one that we'll be looking at closely is this is the last year of our television package," O'Day said. "There are various options out there. This is the one where KPAX has Montana, where Max Media has Montana State and then Altitude throws in a couple games here and there. ... There are many people who are looking at our television opportunities. This meeting will give us an opportunity to begin exploring what we're looking for in terms of the future."

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Here's the press release from the Big Sky on the conclusion of the meetings.......................not much info. The Presidents are meeting next week to approve the things that the ADs went over last week.

Here is some audio of Commissioner Doug Fullerton in an interview with the Montana St. beat writer from just before the meetings took place. He is pushing a 20 game basketball schedule, and is dead set against having the basketball tournament moved to a neutral site. He will really push for the the tournament format to remain the way it is. Probably will expand the tournament to 8 teams. They may look at having no volleyball tournament.

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Not a peep out of the Big Sky about UND's nickname.

As stated numerous times before, the Big Sky - nor almost any other league - doesn't care.

The UND nickname was politicized by the Summit League as a ploy by certain parties to delay our membership and harm our transition and DI identity. UND's leadership wanted to gain brownie points among the academic elite and wanted blame directed elsewhere, so they bought into it.

Thank you again Big Sky and Doug Fullerton for delivering us from manipulation.

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Not a peep out of the Big Sky about UND's nickname.

As stated numerous times before, the Big Sky - nor almost any other league - doesn't care.

The UND nickname was politicized by the Summit League as a ploy by certain parties to delay our membership and harm our transition and DI identity. UND's leadership wanted to gain brownie points among the academic elite and wanted blame directed elsewhere, so they bought into it.

Thank you again Big Sky and Doug Fullerton for delivering us from manipulation.

Well put. +1

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Not a peep out of the Big Sky about UND's nickname.

As stated numerous times before, the Big Sky - nor almost any other league - doesn't care.

The UND nickname was politicized by the Summit League as a ploy by certain parties to delay our membership and harm our transition and DI identity. UND's leadership wanted to gain brownie points among the academic elite and wanted blame directed elsewhere, so they bought into it.

Thank you again Big Sky and Doug Fullerton for delivering us from manipulation.

I'd hesitate to say that the Big Sky doesn't care. The difference is that the if the Big Sky has concerns they are tending to them behind closed doors as a professional organization does, rather than playing things out in the media. I would be shocked if the Big Sky didn't have some misgivings or concerns about a member that is put at a competitive disadvantage in the playoffs for what is the marquee sport of the conference.

That said, the future looks bright for UND in the Big Sky and I'm looking forward to the matchups we will be seeing in upcoming years.

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According to a Jon Kasper, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Media Relations for the Big Sky Conference, the nickname has not been an issue for anyone in the Big Sky.

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According to a Jon Kasper, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Media Relations for the Big Sky Conference, the nickname has not been an issue for anyone in the Big Sky.

Perhaps the Fargo Forum should really do some research before spouting off in their editorials about the Big Sky kicking UND out and no other conference would touch UND because of the legislatures' actions.

Not a word out of Bisonville either, whose talking heads had descended into its typical orgy of misinformation, convincing seemingly all of their followers that UND would not only be thrown out of the Big Sky, but the NCAA would invalidate the DI transition.

That's the type of media and internet B.S. that my earlier post was responding to.

There are no schools in the Big Sky remotely like St Cloud St in culture. There also aren't schools out west like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, who behave like nosy and elitist and Midwestern small town neighbors who object and ban you from their parties for flying a certain flag on UND's lawn. The West is culturally much more open, tolerant, eclectic, and accepting of differing viewpoints, even if people disagree with you.

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There are no schools in the Big Sky remotely like St Cloud St in culture ...

Until they have a mini-firestorm erupt on their campus ala Texas Tech.

And trust me, the Jeanotte-heads of the world will be there (figuratively) tossing matches.

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Not a peep out of the Big Sky about UND's nickname.

As stated numerous times before, the Big Sky - nor almost any other league - doesn't care.

The UND nickname was politicized by the Summit League as a ploy by certain parties to delay our membership and harm our transition and DI identity. UND's leadership wanted to gain brownie points among the academic elite and wanted blame directed elsewhere, so they bought into it.

Thank you again Big Sky and Doug Fullerton for delivering us from manipulation.

Here is the peep.

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To say that this is a game changer is an understatement.

I have been hopeful that UND would remain the Fighting Sioux, but it looks to me like there is no way around this.

Those who want to keep the name for the sake of the hockey team, will soon be outnumbered. UND needs a conference. If the Big Sky has reservations, as did the Summit. Is there a conference that won't?

It is time to put the wheels in motion for a change by July 1, 2012. Whether it is a determination that UND just goes by North Dakota or a new name is chosen, this is too big to ignore.

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To say that this is a game changer is an understatement.

I have been hopeful that UND would remain the Fighting Sioux, but it looks to me like there is no way around this.

Those who want to keep the name for the sake of the hockey team, will soon be outnumbered. UND needs a conference. If the Big Sky has reservations, as did the Summit. Is there a conference that won't?

It is time to put the wheels in motion for a change by July 1, 2012. Whether it is a determination that UND just goes by North Dakota or a new name is chosen, this is too big to ignore.

Amen!

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To say that this is a game changer is an understatement.

I have been hopeful that UND would remain the Fighting Sioux, but it looks to me like there is no way around this.

Those who want to keep the name for the sake of the hockey team, will soon be outnumbered. UND needs a conference. If the Big Sky has reservations, as did the Summit. Is there a conference that won't?

It is time to put the wheels in motion for a change by July 1, 2012. Whether it is a determination that UND just goes by North Dakota or a new name is chosen, this is too big to ignore.

Part of this is posturing. The question is how much. If the Big Sky was really concerned about it's schools meeting all NCAA requirements, it would kick out Idaho State now.

Idaho State has been banned from football postseason - which is worse than a ban from hosting post-season games - yet no threats are being publicly made at Idaho State for horrible academic progress or even having a football coach that has a record of cheating and NCAA probation.

Not saying that UND is in a good position, but would bylaws allow UND to be evicted without the potential for a huge lawsuit against the Big Sky?

If the ND AG does in fact sue the NCAA for anti-trust as the law states he needs to, is the Big Sky fearful about offering UND shelter?

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To say that this is a game changer is an understatement.

I have been hopeful that UND would remain the Fighting Sioux, but it looks to me like there is no way around this.

Those who want to keep the name for the sake of the hockey team, will soon be outnumbered. UND needs a conference. If the Big Sky has reservations, as did the Summit. Is there a conference that won't?

It is time to put the wheels in motion for a change by July 1, 2012. Whether it is a determination that UND just goes by North Dakota or a new name is chosen, this is too big to ignore.

I'm an adement nickname supporter but this is bad. I wonder what it will take to get back on the road to retirement? There is way too much to lose here.

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I had these fears when the legislature rammed the bill through, but most people were giddy and thought the Big Sky didn't care. Well, they obviously do. Hopefully we can do what's right for our athletics teams and athletes and just change the name. I know it's not a popular decision, but it's what's best for our student athletes.

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I had these fears when the legislature rammed the bill through, but most people were giddy and thought the Big Sky didn't care. Well, they obviously do. Hopefully we can do what's right for our athletics teams and athletes and just change the name. I know it's not a popular decision, but it's what's best for our student athletes.

Agreed Hambone. As I said on another thread, the Big Sky doesn't need UND but UND desperately needs the Big Sky (unless all you care about is hockey). This admittedly is painful, unfair and wrong but for the sake of our future, it's time to move on and retire the name. If we can get beyond this, UND has a very, very bright and exciting athletic future as a member of the Big Sky Conference. If we can't, our athletic future is in doubt -- our ability to compete and recruit will be heavily compromised without a conference.

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This one really hurts. Question now is, what can be done? The legislature has adjourned for the biennium and the nickname is the law of the state.

Law can be challenged and ruled unconstitutional. One would think, there is now enough cover to do it.

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Wow. That's harsh. I thought this might happen (v v v) but not until after the state decided what course they were going to pursue and not in the tone that they set in this letter. Even the thought that they might reconsider admission is enough to tighten the sphincter of the staunchest nickname supporter, I think my heart skipped a beat or two.

For many involved in this nickname process, business is about to pick up.

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PhillySioux, on 21 April 2011 - 10:15 AM, said:

I would submit that they had no earthly idea the legislature would force UND into sanctions. As the matter was settled at the time of membership invitation. We'll have to wait and see if they publicly care.

jodcon, on 21 April 2011 - 03:06 PM, said:

This is the right take on it, when UND was being courted by the Big Sky the dissolving of the nickname was a done deal and was proceeding according to plan, in the Big Sky's eyes there was a 0% chance this would be an issue down the road. Now that it has reappeared and has the possibility of becoming a drawn-out legal issue once again, they have to be eyeballing it with at least a little concern regarding scheduling issues and possible tournament implications (remember conference champions host tournaments in the Big Sky), how much they care is unclear at this point.

They're probably not going to say anything publicly until North Dakota decides whether or not they want to take the NCAA to court, if they do go to court I'm sure the Big Sky will release a statement listing what (if any) concerns they have over the issue.

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The NCAA hasn't focused on UND for a while. The lawsuit settled years ago and the NCAA declined the opportunity to come to ND to revisit the nickname issue. The NCAA has moved on. It's time for UND to move on too. There is too much going for UND sports right now to let the nickname hold the school back.

The NCAA considers this matter settled. They have no incentive to revisit it with all the other stuff (Ohio State, Tennessee, Auburn, Texas, Southern Cal, et al) on their plate right now. UND is now caught in a perfect storm and if we think we are so important that the NCAA is giving any thought at all to the Fighting Sioux nickname, we need a reality check. The Big Sky reignited interest in Sioux athletics that has not been there since the transition to DI began. I am surprising myself by moving so quickly to the dark side, but fighting the NCAA didn't sound nearly as daunting when it seemed that the Big Sky was in our corner.

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Somehow this is Douple's fault

Nope...I blame Al Carlson(what can a Bison Alum do for you).

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