UND Wins Injunction Versus NCAA on "Fighting Sioux" Nickname:

The University of North Dakota won an injunction today against the NCAA for its efforts to enforce its new rule banning American Indian-related nicknames. The Court's Memorandum and Order is available here. UND states three claims in the complaint: breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing with respect to performance of the contract, and violation of state antitrust laws. The district court held that UND showed a sufficient likelihood of prevailing on the two contract claims so as the enjoin the rule. The contract claims are grounded in the recognition of the NCAA as private contractually-based organization. The Court's ruling is predicated on the finding that there is reason to belive that the NCAA failed to follow its own internal rules in promulgating the Indian-themed nickname rule. The ruling enables UND to host a Division II playoff game this coming weekend.

All of the filings in the case are collected here.

The NCAA has announced that it wil not appeal the injunction. The AP story quotes an NCAA spokesman as saying (somewhat peculiarly), "We're disappointed.... But it's not totally unexpected." I'm not sure what "not totally unexpected" is supposed to mean--I assume he's not saying that the NCAA knows it has a weak case. Nor does it seem obvious that it just means that the Court fudged the legal standard in order to avoid having the home game taken away from UND because the Court specifically refused to grant the injunction on the basis of the antitrust claim. Is the NCAA suggesting that this is a "home cooking" decision of some sort?

UND is being represented by the state's AG office but is being funded by private donations.

Trial on the merits is scheduled for April.

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