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Retired ND 'Fighting Sioux' letters fetch $8K at auction

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The giant letters that spelled out the former nickname of the University of North Dakota went for $8,000 at an auction at the University in Grand Forks, N.D., Friday, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports.

The winning total came two weeks after bidding began on the letters that spelled out "Home of the Fighting Sioux" two weeks ago. The base bid began at $1,000, reached the $7,100 mark a week ago and rose in $100 increments since, the Forum says.

When featured on the campus' Ralph Englestad Arena, the 2-foot high letters spanned 70-feet across.

The removal of the letters was a part of the retirement of the school's nickname. The letters and other signs were taken down last fall to comply with the terms of settlement that ended a lawsuit between the NCAA and the state of North Dakota over the nickname.

In an adjustment to the settlement, the NCAA indicated that most other Fighting Sioux items could remain, including the large logos on the exteriors of the two buildings, the Forum says.

Sixty-eight percent of North Dakota voters voted to abolish the nickname at state referendum last June.

A last ditch effort to restore the Fighting Sioux nickname failed in an appearance before the Eighth U.S. Court of Appeals in February, despite the support of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe.

Supporters of the nickname at the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux reservations claimed they were not included in settlement negotiations between the NCAA and the state to retire the nickname and Indian head logo.

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