Originally written on Goon's World  |  Last updated 11/11/11
For those fans that were worrying about the Big Sky conference not accepting UND because of the three year cooling off period that requires UND to adopt no nickname or logo before January 2015. Those fears were all for not as it doesn’t seem to be an issue at all with the Big Sky Conference.
Wayne Nelson, Grand Forks Herald --- Currently, there are only four Division I Football Championship Subdivision programs that do not have a conference home. And three of those independents are headed for conference affiliation in the future.

Scheduling football games as an independent virtually would have been impossible, according to school officials.

UND football has competed in the Great West Conference since 2008. But the five-team league will disband after this season, with UC Davis, Cal Poly and Southern Utah all moving to the Big Sky. South Dakota, the fifth school, is headed to the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

With Dalrymple’s signature, the priority at the UND athletic department now focuses on the school’s future in the Big Sky.

“It’s bittersweet,” UND athletic director Brian Faison said of Wednesday’s developments. “This allows us to move on.”

The Big Sky has been following the North Dakota Legislature. UND President Robert Kelley was in contact with the league office after Dalyrmple’s signature.

UND will join the league without a nickname.

“We are North Dakota,” Faison said. “That’s who we will be.”

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