He called "absurd" suggestions that the Big Sky needs UND more than the school needs the conference.
"On the other hand, we all have to understand that there's an absolutely incredible, passionate fan base out there that loves the logo and nickname and they want to do everything they can to see if it can be protected," he said. "The reality for us is, it's going to have all these other consequences that are really going to damage the athletic program."
Troy Krogstad, 43, of Grand Forks, acknowledged he has concerns about the school losing favor with the Big Sky, but he said he signed the petition anyway because he's unhappy voters haven't had their say.
"I don't think a conference like that should dictate what a school does," Krogstad said.
Holm acknowledged possible setbacks to the athletic program, but was hoping that one last push would change the minds of NCAA and conference officials.
"If they can't win this battle without being penalized and losing their conference affiliation, then I think maybe they need to change it," he said. "But they might as well fight, at least, while they still can."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.