California Bans University Travel To 8 States, Including Texas

Sport and politics may be intersecting in a new way in 2017, as the state of California has banned state employees (a banner that would include state-funded University athletic coaches) from using tax money to travel to states with laws considered discriminatory. The list of states currently stands at 8 and includes Texas, the largest of the contiguous United States.

The Mercury News reports that a California law that took effect in January 2017 creates travel bans to states with laws California deems “discriminatory in regards to LGBT issues.” That ban list originally included Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee. But this week, California’s attorney general announced that four more states would join the list: Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas.

Most of the states found themselves added to the list for passing laws regarding faith-based adoption agencies that won’t place children with same-sex families.

The Texas Tribune reports that the travel ban applies to “California state agencies, universities and commissions,” preventing those state institutions from using tax dollars to send their employees to states on the banned list.

In theory, that could prevent a hypothetical dual meet matchup in the growing Cal-Texas rivalry on the men’s side, or could keep California state schools from attending the Art Adamson Invite at Texas A&M or the Arena Pro Swim Series in Austin.

On the other hand, it’s not entirely clear how the travel ban will function with regard to universities or their athletic programs. The ban speaks specifically to using tax dollars to fund trips, so schools could perhaps self-fund, or it could be determined that athletic departments are technically using their own revenue to fund trips to banned states, or using other sources like donations or student fees.

But the situation will be one to keep an eye on moving forward, especially if the list grows, or if any major events take place in states on the banned list. Here’s a list of the upcoming NCAA meets being held in one of the eight currently banned states:

  • 2019 Women’s NCAA Championships: Austin, Texas
  • 2019 Men’s NCAA Championships: Austin, Texas
  • 2021 Women’s NCAA Championships: Greensboro, North Carolina

The ban would also affect various conference championships, invites and dual meets.

Leave a Reply

57 Comment threads
139 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
99 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Attila the Runt



Wow – what a fantastic, loud statement for equality in 2017.

Sir Swimsalot

This is not a statement for equality! So many are “champions” for free thinking and diversity, supposedly embracing everyone of every way of thinking, and then actions like this goes completely against the narrative. This isn’t anything close to equality or tolerance.

I\'m curious

Could you please elaborate?


Yes it is a statement for equality, is not letting gay people adopt someone equality to you?


For FAITH BASED adoption agencies. If a same sex couple wants to adopt there are many other options than making a FAITH BASED agency go against their FAITH BASED belief system…


“Free Thinking” is not the issue. Everyone already has free thinking. It’s about when some peoples personal beliefs affect the rights of others. And this is a clear statement about that.


So they’re gonna screw over student athletes to make a point? This is just going to piss off everbody, not solve anything.


They’re going to screw over athletes? They’re not sending these athletes/employees to states with discriminatory laws. That in my mind is standing up for what’s right, not to make a point. In a time where so many negative things are happening in the world, we have states standing up for what’s RIGHT for once. If I were still an athlete, I’d 100% understand it.


Those collegiate athletes aren’t adopting children!… I hope. Those discriminatory laws don’t apply to them

This isn’t applicable to sports in any way. This just seems like a temper tantrum that’s going to back fire


But even if it did “screw over” innocent people, the ban is worth it. I’m sure many non-athletes who happen to be state employees don’t agree with the discriminatory laws, but will be affected. When standing up for what’s right, some innocent people will unfortunately suffer as well. The broader picture is more important. It’s what’s good for the plenty, not the few


They aren’t screwing over anyone. The schools can pay for the trips from the athletic funds. They shouldn’t have to rely on state tax funds for travel. Why should taxes fund travel anyway? I think this is all to do about nothing if you ask me. If they want to travel, the trips will get paid for.


Yes, the athletes are the ones hurt here.


The plan isn’t really meant to harm athletes but if it does blame Texas for basing adoption off of a book that may or may not be true


Great work of fiction


Of course if a Muslim organization chose not to place children for adoption in same-sex home, would anyone argue? Or is this more Christian-hating?


You need to read with a bit more comprehension. The laws in the states California is listing were passed with respect to “faith-based agencies” without respect to what that faith is, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc. If the laws did specify a particular faith or religion they would clearly violate the U.S. Constitution.


This comment makes no sense and there is no equivalency here. This is states using the Bible to make decisions, remember the separation of church and state thing?


Non existent in Texas

Gw siegel

Yes. It came after “one nation under god.” remember that thing?


You are aware that “one nation under god” was only added in 1954 right? The original pledge had no mention of god or religion. It wasn’t until the “religious revival” of the 50’s that it was added with Eisenhower’s support. In addition, “In God We Trust” was added on paper monies (1956). It’s also because of him they added a prayer room in the Capitol in 1955. Religion has no business in state affairs whatsoever.


Some are Catholic organizations where the bible is not as important as Catholic church teaching. Also, there are eastern orthodox in the US which based their faith on the church councils not the bible. You assume all Christians are evangelicals which they are not. Outside of the US, Christians are more likely to be Catholic or in Eastern Europe-Eastern orthodox. In fact Hank Hanegraff, the bible answer man recently converted to Eastern Orthodox which is not into Sola Scriptoria, the bible alone.


What so you have never been to a Catholic Church where they read from the Old Testament the Epistle and stand while they read the Gospel every service and say the Creed that’s in the Bible every service and your basing your complain on something that’s no true


Christianity is not the only faith that would ban this. Any orthodox faith would as well. Including muslim and jewish based agencies.


Of course people would be against it, but this isn’t an organization this is a state filled with millions of people


We have to look at the actual arrangements in each state . In Australia there is a policy of placing Indigenous kids only in indigenous families but is ends up being preferentially as they are limited. Also tribes & locales have to be considered . So discrimination is necessary . My impression is that the relinquishing mothers in the US have a big input in where their child goes & they can be given a list of ppl to choose from . There seems to be many private agencies . I am thinking if a mother places the child in a faith based agency then that is saying – I want the child to go to someone who fits your… Read more »


Yes to your first question, Christians and Muslims alike should not be so discriminatory. In fact, neither group should have any say in the adoption process. And look at this, now we’re not talking about swimming at all?

Attila the Runt

Student-athletes aren’t state employees, unless you’re Alabama football.

Sean S

So the teams are just supposed to go with no coaches or trainers?


The athletic department funds can pay for the coaches. They can surely afford it. Why should tax dollars pay for them to travel to begin with anyway?

Joel Lin

Well, watch what happens next. The NCAA needs a happy California set of member institutions. NEEDS. The calculus here is who has the leverage & who doesn’t. The NCAA will move events before letting a spectacle go off where these members simply don’t attend events; especially championship events.

Wasn’t North Carolina resolute & tough on the other side of this? Oh sure, for about a day. The NCAA & ACC brought that state to its knees & rightfully so. I felt at the time that NC’s half hearted remedy to the bathroom bill wasn’t enough, and this starts the clock again. Financial pain vs. phony discriminatory principles. This has one remedy: play ball North Carolina, Texas, et al.

Joel Lin

Remember, this is for all state of California state employees & the commerce behind them. California is over 1/3rd the GDP of the US & on it’s own would be the 7th largest country GDP in the world. The pain train begins. It won’t last long for one simple reason: after all the tough talk, those 8 states can’t afford it. Period.


That’s;because of high population. GNP is not as important as median income, California is only 10th at 64,000 and Washington and Colorado are near it. Lots of states do better than California if cost of living is adjusted. Texas and Florida also have their problems but are cheaper to live. This means that people with kids are more likely to moved to Texas and Florida because housing is cheaper than in California and the northeast.


It’s apparent you think highly of California, but if we went by your logic then CA would dictate to the rest of the country how the NCAA would conduct itself. Somehow I don’t think the other 49 states are willing to turn the reigns over to California.


GDP is irrelevant. California is insolvent, it is a failure as a state.


Joel Lin, guess whose economy is the 8th largest in the world? And Texas’ economy is growing a robust rate; California’s is not. And California is BILLIONS of dollars in debt. The best and brightest in California have been moving to Texas in droves over the last 5 to 10 years. This is on top of hundreds of California-based companies leaving the state and relocating to Texas. Texas already has 3 of the largest cities in America. So I question who will be feeling the pain…

Attila the Runt

As a Texan, I suggest you read this and other economic predictions about Texas. “The Texas Economic Miracle is Over”


Texas can afford it!


“They’re gonna screw over student athletes to make a point.” considering they’re “making a point” by porestesting discrimantory laws that deny people rights this is justified. People were outraged and claimed nothing would change when the NCAA and other companies and organizations boycotted North Carolina over the discriminatory bathroom bill. But these boycotts cost the NC economy millions of dollars and the republican governor who signed the bill lost re-election 2016 in a state trump won by 5 points. Boycotts and bans work because they create inconveniences.


I’m sure their aim was to screw over student athletes lol. Unfortunately some innocents have to suffer. what we have here is the classic “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” situation. And oh, by the way, the student’s travel aren’t a problem. they are not state employees. They can travel the same as always. It would only be the coaches (which I’m sure will travel by moving “money” around so as not to appear to be tax funded.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!