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Wayne Nelson, Forum Communications, Published June 13 2012

UND receives NDSU's championship banner by mistake

GRAND FORKS - Oops.

The University of North Dakota athletic department received a package Wednesday that drew a few chuckles — at the expense of the NCAA.

The package included the 2011 NCAA Division I football championship banner intended for North Dakota State, which claimed the title in January with a win against Sam Houston State in Frisco, Texas.

The NCAA shipped the championship banner with good intentions but sent it to UND — North Dakota State’s biggest rival.

The package was addressed to Mr. Brian Faison, Athletics Director, North Dakota State University, Hyslop Sports Center, Grand Forks, N.D.

UND athletic department officials were amused by the NCAA mix up. And the timing of the delivery couldn’t have been more ironic.

“I’ll call (NDSU athletic director) Gene Taylor and tell him it’s here,” said Faison, who spent much of the morning talking with regional media regarding Tuesday’s overwhelming statewide vote to retire the controversial Fighting Sioux nickname and logo — which the NCAA deemed “hostile and abusive.”

The letter accompanying the banner read:

“Dear Mr. Faison:

“Enclosed find your 2011 championship banner that hung in the NCAA Hall of Champions. I hope your team, faculty, staff and students can now enjoy it as much as our visitors did.”

The letter was signed by Kelly Dodds, the assistant director of the Hall of Champions and Conference Center.