NCAA says it won't appeal judge's ruling on nickname

Monday, November 13th 2006, 12:56 pm
By: News On 6

FARGO, N.D. (AP) _ The NCAA won't appeal a district judge's decision allowing the University of North Dakota to host a playoff game despite its Fighting Sioux nickname.

Judge Lawrence Jahnke's order granting a preliminary injunction was formally released Monday. Attorneys had been notified by e-mail late Saturday, hours before the UND football team was chosen for a home playoff game next weekend.

``We're disappointed,'' NCAA spokesman Chuck Wynne said Monday. ``But it's not totally unexpected.

``For all practical purposes, there really isn't time (to appeal). UND is going to host a playoff game and they will wear their normal uniforms.''

UND will face Winona State in next Saturday's Division II playoff.

The NCAA listed UND among a handful of schools with American Indian nicknames and logos that are considered hostile and abusive. Those schools are barred from holding postseason tournaments, or from using their logos during any playoff games.

Jahnke, who scheduled a trial in the case for April 24, said in his ruling Monday that UND had established a ``substantial likelihood of prevailing'' on its breach of contract claim against the NCAA over the nickname ban.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem called Jahnke's ruling ``quite well reasoned,'' but said it should not be viewed as a forecast for the trial.

The attorney general's office is handling the case for UND, which is paying for it with private contributions.