Posted by Steven Hayward
The president of the University of North Dakota tells the NCAA to stick it with its demand that the UND change its mascot name from the "Fighting Sioux."
Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt.
WOW! How very welcome.
What interests me about the letter is its use of administrative law concepts: "arbitrary and capricous" and "substantial evidence". Does anyone know why this is? Is the NCAA some quasi-government entity, or does its founding document state the NCAA will use the APA as a foundation for all decisions?
Furthermore, what legal claim does the University of North Dakota have? Is it contractual? Or maybe North Dakota could argue restraint of trade (antitrust stuff), although that is just a wild guess on my part. Those are the only things I can think of. I would appreciate some more background on the NCAA if someone could supply it.
It seems like UNDs claim is contractual -- the presidents letter mentions that the university signed a "covenant" to become a member of the NCAA, but that it never agreed "as a condition of full membership privileges – [that] a small committee would have the authority to change the architecture of sports facilities that we do not even own or cause us to modify our very history."
As a pre-litigation warning shot, the presidents letter is a pretty good one.
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