The first reason really doesn't wash because UW Kept dates open on their schedule with the caveat that if UND didn't change the name the future nonconference games would be canceled.
One has to believe that there are other reasons that UMN doesn't want to continue the series right now.
Roman Augustoviz, Goal Gophers --- The Don tried to explain why on his weekly radio show on Monday. He said, in matter-of-fact fashion, that the U could not schedule a team with an American Indian nickname in a nonconference game by school rules. That dispute -- to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname or not -- at UND has only been settled recently.What do "UND" fans think? Do you think somewhere between the Spin and the B.S. is an answer? I will have to admit that some of the best games that have been on the schedule from a year-to-year basis have been the UND vs UMN games.
In late September, UND and the NCAA agreed which signage could stay and which had to go at Ralph Engelstad Arena. A month later, workers took down the "Home of the Fighting Sioux" sign on the front of the building.
By then, Lucia seemed to imply, the Gophers' schedule, which will include a whopping 14 nonconference games -- the U will have only 20 conference games in the six-team Big Ten -- was all filled up for the next few seasons. The U will be playing the other Division I teams in the state and schools like Notre Dame, where his son Mario is a freshman, Boston College and Northeastern, Lucia said.
UND? They might return to the U schedule in three, four years, Lucia said.
Let's examine the logic of this decision, we would rather not play a game that will fill both team arena's every other season. Hum... That makes no sense what-so-ever. I mean seriously, that one doesn't pass the smell test.
Does anyone think that the Gophers are tired of getting roughed up playing UND? Last year was an enigma in recent times where the Gophers got the best of UND and beat them 4/6 games.
Most of the games are very rough and physical and both teams fan bases are at each others throats for a week after. In fact the best weeks on the blog are during the rivalry series between UND and the Gophers... That doesn't happen during any other series in the current configuration of the WCHA. DU and UND are probably a distant second. You don't see UND and UMD fans at each other's throats on the message boards and fan blogs.
What's the real reason, I don't believe some of the meadow muffins that I have read recently on GPL either. I have a hard time believing that most Gopher fans with half a brain would not want to continue one of the greatest rivalries in all of college sports. No matter how you slice it, Penn State and Ohio State isn't going to bring half of the interest that UND vs. UMN will. You could play the game on an area lake and 5,000-10,000 people would show up for it.
Edit: Check out this quote by UMN head coach Don Lucia...s/t to INCH...
A day later, when asked about the high-tension rivalry between the Gophers and North Dakota, Minnesota coach Don Lucia suggested that a cooling off period might be in order starting in two years when the teams are no longer in the same conference.Thanks to Jake in the comments for bringing up this point from last years series between UND and UMN, that got lost in the shuffle. So in retrospect, the Gophers probably are using the Fighting Sioux nick name as cover, but also probably are ducking UND as well.
“We will go back there as a non-conference team,” Lucia said at his weekly gathering with the media. “We have a great rivalry. Sometimes it gets a little over the top and I’m not sure that is healthy for anybody. So we will continue to play, but I doubt we will continue to play each and every year.”