NCAA Reiterates its Opposition to HB2, Tournament Games At Risk
A new requirement put in place by the NCAA Board of Governors specifies that any state bidding for an NCAA event must be a safe environment without discrimination. With Governor McCrory's discriminatory law, this could disqualify North Carolina from hosting future NCAA events.
While the NCAA statement doesn’t officially mention HB2, the writing on the wall seems clear: If North Carolina doesn’t say goodbye to HB2, it might have to say goodbye to hosting March Madness.
“Currently awarded sites must report how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event,” the NCAA said in a statement to Andy Katz of ESPN. “The information must be reported to the Board of Governors Ad Hoc Committee to Promote Cultural Diversity and Equity, and full implementation is expected during the current bidding process.”
The NCAA has historically stuck to its principles once adopting guidelines for hosting neutral-site championship events. Since 2001, the organization hasn’t allowed such events to be held in states where the governments fly the Confederate flag, or at schools using “abusive or offensive” Native American mascots or team names.
“The higher education community is a diverse mix of people from different racial, ethnic, religious and sexual orientation backgrounds,” said Kirk Schulz, president of Kansas State University and chair of the Board of Governors. “So it is important that we assure that community — including our student-athletes and fans — will always enjoy the experience of competing and watching at NCAA championships without concerns of discrimination.”
The fallout from the passage of HB2 has been severe. PayPal abandoned plans for a massive operations center in Charlotte, which would have brought 400 new jobs to the area. Famous musicians, such as Bruce Springsteen, have taken a stand by canceling concerts in the state. Even Donald Trump has expressed his opposition to the measure.
But none of this, so far, has convinced McCrory to change it.