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Published December 07, 2011, 05:41 PM

UND Retiring 'Fighting Sioux' Facebook Page

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The University of North Dakota advised fans of its "University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux" Facebook page that it will be retired shortly and fans should shift their allegiance to a new page, "UND Sports." Unofficial "Fighting Sioux" Facebook pages appear safe, for now.

By: Associated Press,

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The University of North Dakota advised fans of its "University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux" Facebook page that it will be retired shortly and fans should shift their allegiance to a new page, "UND Sports." Unofficial "Fighting Sioux" Facebook pages appear safe, for now.

The university is working to retire the nickname and accompanying American Indian head logo, which the NCAA deems offensive, by the end of the year. The school's athletics department last week asked leaders of conferences in which its teams compete to stop using the nickname and logo as of Jan. 1 and instead refer the university's teams as UND or North Dakota with an interlocking "ND" as the logo.

Nearly 50,000 people friended the UND Fighting Sioux Facebook page that's being retired. Dozens of people have registered their dislike of the change to the new page, which has no references to Fighting Sioux or the logo. However, more than 1,100 people indicated that they liked the new page as of Wednesday morning.

The name "Fighting Sioux" is used on dozens of Facebook pages not officially tied to the university. Travis Gray, who operates two Facebook pages devoted to UND hockey, told the Grand Forks Herald that he received a notice Tuesday from Facebook advising him that certain content he had posted had been removed or access to it had been disabled "because we received a notice from a third party that the content infringes their copyright(s)."

UND spokesman Peter Johnson said a UND Athletics Department employee had made the complaint because "the site looks like an official UND site and could be construed by the casual reader to be an official site," but it included material that did not properly represent the university.

Johnson said the employee acted on his own and that it was an isolated incident.

"It's not a policy by the university at this point to go after Facebook pages," he said.

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