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The northern prairie can be a cold, dark place in the winter, and without any professional teams the North Dakota hockey program has been the state’s favorite entertainment for decades. UND has won seven national championships, and this season’s roster has 15 players who’ve already been drafted by NHL teams. Parise, Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks and T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues are some of the NHL’s best young stars.
Just five hours away from the UND campus, the Xcel Energy Center arena is sure to be filled with UND fans this weekend. On the last word of "Star Spangled Banner," they’ll yell "Sioux!" instead of "brave," a long-held tradition at UND games. They’ll be wearing those Fighting Sioux jerseys, too.
NCAA started cracking down in 2005The NCAA in 2005 told North Dakota and more than a dozen other schools with American Indian nicknames or logos that to avoid sanctions, they needed to change or obtain permission from local tribes to keep them. Most switched, though some — like the Utah Utes, Florida State Seminoles and Central Michigan Chippewas — have received tribal permission.
"I will be wearing mine," said Larry Bellerud, from Fargo, the state’s largest city. "I don’t want to see it go, but I’m also realistic about it. In the long run, it’s just a name."
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