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UND, NDSU athletic directors discuss scheduling

The University of North Dakota crowd congratulates the Sioux football team for winning the Nickel Trophy after defeating North Dakota State in 2003. Forum file photo

FARGO - North Dakota State and the University of North Dakota could renew their sports rivalry as soon as the 2010-11 school year, but the school's athletic directors still have yet to set a date to talk about it.

UND athletic director Brian Faison recently called NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor to alert him of the State Higher Board of Education's May 14 decision to retire UND's Fighting Sioux logo unless it gets the blessings of the two namesake tribes. The topic of scheduling came up.

"Albeit briefly," Faison said.

"We agreed to get together at some point in the near future and begin to discuss the possibility of scheduling some sports," Taylor said. "Our conversation really had nothing to do with their logo issue."

Taylor said the earliest NDSU would start scheduling UND in some sports would be the 2010-11 school year. He added that the earliest NDSU would schedule UND in football would be 2012.

NDSU and UND last played each other in football in 2003. The men's and women's basketball teams last met during the 2003-04 season.

Since then, NDSU has completed its transition to Division I. UND is finishing its second year of the five-year transition to Division I.

UND would like to join NDSU in The Summit League, a 10-team league that does not include football. But Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple has stated the league will not consider UND for expansion until it resolves its nickname issue with the NCAA.

But it appears the league has softened its stance from earlier this year when Douple cautioned Summit League schools to schedule UND for nonconference games.

"There is really nothing we could do to prevent the member schools from scheduling them," said David Brauer, Summit League director of media relations.

"We're not going to stand in the way of the schools' nonconference scheduling. That's up to the individual institutions."

This past season, UND played three different Summit League teams - South Dakota State in baseball, track and field and women's softball; Missouri-Kansas City in men's basketball and women's softball and Western Illinois in women's tennis.

"We have a few more Summit League teams scheduled for next year," Faison said.

For the past year, Taylor has stated that "it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when" in regards to NDSU scheduling UND. Faison hopes its sooner than later.

"We would love to get the rivalry renewed as soon as possible," Faison said. "We just have to sit down and see what we can work out."