UND nickname: Top 2 options will go to final round of voting


What's in a nickname? Apparently quite a bit.

The University of North Dakota needs one more round of voting to choose a new nickname for the school.

The top two choices in last week's runoff – the Fighting Hawks and the Roughriders – move on to one last vote which begins Thursday. The winner will become the school's new nickname.

The first runoff among the top three nickname options wrapped up on Friday, and none of the options received 50 percent of the vote, UND officials announced Sunday.

According to the Grand Forks Herald, the Fighting Hawks received 46 percent of the votes, while the Roughriders received 28 percent. Nodaks received 26 percent of votes and is now out of the running.

UND has been without a nickname for three years. The North Dakota Board of Higher Education retired the school's "Fighting Sioux" nickname after the NCAA deemed it offensive.

Two other potential nicknames – the North Stars and Sundogs – were eliminated during preliminary voting.

Those with connections to the Grand Forks school are allowed to have a vote on the new nickname. And while some 26,000 voted in this latest round, others others tested the value of their vote in another way.

Several listings popped up on Craigslist offering votes up for sale. According to the Star Tribune, offers ranged anywhere from $20 to $150.

UND officials were aware of the ads.

"While we're glad that they recognize that their vote is valuable, we're disappointed that they want to benefit monetarily from this opportunity," UND spokesman Peter Johnson told the newspaper.

It's certainly possible the ads will appear again for the final round of voting, which will take place from noon on Thurs. Nov. 12 to midnight on Mon. Nov. 16.

Nearly 82,000 students, alumni, university faculty, donors and season-ticket holders are eligible to vote and will receive an email with instructions on how to participate.

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