NCAA Has Lifted Ban On Hosting Championships In North Carolina

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Apr 04, 2017 11:25 AM
NCAA Has Lifted Ban On Hosting Championships In North Carolina

The NCAA will once again host championship events in North Carolina, the association's board of governors announced on Tuesday. This comes the day after the University of North Carolina's Men's Basketball team defeated Gonzaga University to win the Final Four Championship, and five days after North Carolina's governor signed a bill that rolled back many of the controversial elements of the state's "bathroom bill" that prompted the initial ban.

The NCAA clarified that while they did not lobby for the law to be changed, they did indeed hope that the state would repeal the law. In light of the law change, the NCAA said that a majority of the Board of Governors "reluctantly voted" to consider hosting championship events in North Carolina once again.

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The NCAA did not lobby for any specific change in the law. The Board of Governors, however, was hopeful that the state would fully repeal HB2 in order to allow the host communities to ensure a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for the championship sites. While the new law meets the minimal NCAA requirements, the board remains concerned that some may perceive North Carolina’s moratorium against affording opportunities for communities to extend basic civil rights as a signal that discriminatory behavior is permitted and acceptable, which is inconsistent with the NCAA Bylaws.

However, we recognize the quality championships hosted by the people of North Carolina in years before HB2. And this new law restores the state to that legal landscape: a landscape similar to other jurisdictions presently hosting NCAA championships.

We are actively determining site selections, and this new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment. If we find that our expectations of a discrimination-free environment are not met, we will not hesitate to take necessary action at any time.

We have been assured by the state that this new law allows the NCAA to enact its inclusive policies by contract with communities, universities, arenas, hotels, and other service providers that are doing business with us, our students, other participants, and fans. Further, outside of bathroom facilities, the new law allows our campuses to maintain their own policies against discrimination, including protecting LGBTQ rights, and allows cities’ existing nondiscrimination ordinances, including LBGTQ protections, to remain effective.

In the end, a majority on the NCAA Board of Governors reluctantly voted to allow consideration of championship bids in North Carolina by our committees that are presently meeting. The NCAA championships previously awarded to North Carolina for 2017-18 will remain in the state. The board, however, directs that any site awarded a championship event in North Carolina or elsewhere be required to submit additional documentation demonstrating how student-athletes and fans will be protected from discrimination.

Just a reminder: The NCAA has no issue with playing games in Cuba and China, both places with less-than-stellar records on human rights.