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Associated Press, Published April 06 2011

North Dakota Democrats want officials' meeting with NCAA open

BISMARCK — North Dakota's Democratic legislative leaders say a scheduled meeting between state officials and NCAA executives to discuss the University of North Dakota's nickname and logo should be open to the public.

Senate Democratic leader Ryan Taylor and House Democratic leader Jerry Kelsh sent a letter Wednesday to Board of Higher Education President Jon Backes asking that the meeting be open.

Taylor and Kelsh say representatives of the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux tribes should also be invited to the meeting on April 22.

The NCAA says UND's Fighting Sioux nickname and American Indian head logo are hostile to American Indians, but the Legislature has ordered UND to keep them.

A Bismarck meeting has been scheduled to discuss the issue. It is to be closed to the public.