North Dakota had the mis-fortune of not having resolved the "Fighting Sioux" stuff to the NCAA's satisfaction,
when their big opportunity came along.
Big Sky invited both North Dakota and South Dakota for all sports.
Summit had already invited South Dakota, but they were not in the MVFC, they were a football independent like North Dakota.
Suddenly South Dakota got an MVFC invitation as the 10th FB team, so they took it and agreed to forge ahead with Oly sports in the Summit, just like NDSU and SDSU.
North Dakota got no such invitation, so they said yes to the Big Sky. I thnk the Big Sky would have preferred both or neither, when htey got North Dakota only, that lead to an odd number.
I think all obstacles to dropping the Fighting Sioux name have disappeared, if a Summit / MVFC invitation came along, I bet North Dakota would jump at it.
Damnit! For North Dakota, joining the Big Sky alone might had been their worst decision; OR for South Dakota, joining the Summit (all sports) and the MVFC (football) alone might had been their worst decision. In my opinion, all of the Dakotas don't deserve to be on different conferences, which is very unfortunate. Back in the late 2000's, when all 4 of them got D-I status, I thought that they might find a way to join a conference that benefit for their well-being, in terms of athletics and success.
But now we have to wait until like 2015 or 2016 to see if North Dakota plans to re-establish a new nickname, which they had done sooner before that nickname issue before losing the "Fighting Sioux" name to NCAA politics, like most schools whose former nickname was "Indians". Maybe when that happens, hopefully North Dakota can be a possible eligible candidate to join the Summit/MVFC. Plus, they play baseball, which might benefit the Summit with hopes to have the sport with an automatic bid.
I wonder if the Big Sky would be open to allowing UND to join the Summit but remain in the Big Sky as a fb independent.
Seems logical, and obviously they would probably get the next MVFC invite when availabile.
My thoughts exactly.