And then there were seven.
At Monday's meeting, the committee assigned -1, 0 or 1 point for nine criteria – such as uniqueness, linguistic ease, promoting a sense of pride and is rallying symbol for the region – before narrowing down the list.
Roughriders scored the most points with 48, followed by Sundogs and North Stars in second with 46 points each, the Grand Forks Herald reports. Nodaks came in third with 42 points.
Also remaining on the list: UND/North Dakota (21 points), Fighting Hawks and Green Hawks.
The options of Roughriders and North Dakota were discussed at length during Monday's meeting, with consultants pointing out the name Roughriders has an inappropriate double meaning, the Grand Forks Herald notes. Others said although North Dakota is the popular choice, it may not be the right one.
Removed from the list of potential names were: Blaze, Calvary, Explorers, Fighting Green, Force, Pride, Spirit and Thunder Hawks.
The committee will consider trimming the list further at its next meeting before putting the options up for a public vote – a process and date for that hasn't been decided yet, KFGO reports.
The school retired the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo in 2012, after a long and contentious legal battle over whether the symbols were offensive to local Sioux tribes and other American Indians.
The NCAA threatened sanctions, and eventually UND agreed to drop the Fighting Sioux.
State lawmakers then put into place a three-year moratorium on choosing a new nickname, so the school’s athletic teams have been playing simply as “UND/North Dakota” since then.
Many alumni remain in favor of keeping North Dakota as the school’s nickname, reports note.