NCAA 'Reluctantly' Agrees To Resume Events In NC

Apr 4, 2017

Updated 12:24 p.m.
The NCAA says its board of governors has "reluctantly" agreed to resume scheduling college sporting events in North Carolina after last week's repeal and replacement of the controversial House Bill 2.

The vote means that NCAA championships previously awarded to North Carolina for 2017-18 will remain in the state, the NCAA said. But the organization says it will require sites in North Carolina and elsewhere to submit "additional documentation demonstrating how student-athletes and fans will be protected from discrimination."

The NCAA announcement Tuesday follows the Atlantic Coast Conference's decision to consider North Carolina sites again for its championships and tournaments.  In a statement Friday, the league said its council of presidents was ready to pick North Carolina sites again.  

In a statement Tuesday morning, the NCAA said:

"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."

North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said they were pleased that the organization recognized that the compromise returns the state to a legal landscape similar to other places hosting NCAA championships.  

But the Human Rights Campaign was upset with the decision. The LGBT advocacy group said the NCAA backtracked on its promise to protect players, employees and fans. "After drawing a line in the sand and calling for repeal of HB 2, the NCAA simply let North Carolina lawmakers off the hook," the group said in a statement.  They want formal legal protections for LGBT people, and object to a provision in HB 2’s replacement that bars local governments from enacting or updating non-discrimination ordinances until December 2020. 

Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statement welcoming the NCAA's decision, but saying more work needs to be done on LGBT rights. He said: “We will continue our work with them to fight for statewide anti-discrimination protections for LGBT North Carolinians."

See the full statement at NCAA.org