Grand Forks – UND officials have announced their football team has recruited the moose who wandered into Memorial Stadium for its football team. The announcement comes ahead of the highly anticipated matchup between the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University.

The moose made headlines after wandering into Memorial Stadium at UND’s campus earlier this week. The moose was later tranquilized and released back into the wild. But after statements made by the North Dakota State Game and Fish Department that releasing the moose was a bad idea, UND offered the moose a four year scholarship and recruited the animal to play on its football team.

“We view the series of events of this week as divine intervention,” says UND’s Director of Wild Recruitment, Steve Bovine. “It was no coincidence that the moose wandered onto the 20-yard line at Memorial Stadium. And after she was released back into the wild, we realized we had made a mistake so a handful of UND officials and recruiters made a trip back out to the countryside, offered our sincere apologies and asked if she’d be interested in taking a defensive line position on our team. After a little convincing, we’re happy to announce Meriweather the Moose will be playing in this Saturday’s game against UND and has enrolled full-time as a Wildlife Management Major at UND. We’re lucky to have her.”

Since joining the team, Meriweather has shattered both the standing 50 and 100-yard dash records at UND. But adding a moose to UND’s team however has been no easy task. Officials say they’ve had to ask the their other players to make some adjustments.

“We’re asking players to make no sudden movements in the locker room and avoid direct eye contact. We’ve also added another staff member to help clean up Meriweather’s messes should they occur. Come mating season, we’re looking at moving Meriweather to a dedicated stall adjacent to campus that will provide her comfortable accommodations so that she can excel both as an athlete and student. Adjacent to her stall is where UND’s Fighting Hawk resides, so she’ll have plenty of company. We want everyone to know UND cares and we do our best to make appropriate accommodations for our diverse body of students.”

Still, officials say Meriweather has been a boost to morale on campus.

“Everyone’s been rallying around Meriweather since she first arrived on campus. She’s a bit of a celebrity now in Grand Forks. Adoring fans continue to drive past campus hoping to get a glimpse of her, but we ask everyone to respect her privacy so she can focus on the upcoming football season and her studies. We’re also concerned for Meriweather’s safety come hunting season, which is why we’ve asked Meriweather to wear a blaze orange vest as she walks around on campus for a couple of months out of an abundance of caution.”

No word on if NDSU will be adding any wild bison to its team this season. However, North Dakota State Game and Fish Department officials say since UND announced Meriweather the Moose’s addition to UND, moose hunting tag applications have skyrocketed in Fargo.

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