The NCAA Board of Governors says that they will allow their championships to be hosted in North Carolina again next year, after the repeal of the state’s controversial HB2 law and replacement with a new law, HB142. The Board of Governors, while saying that “as with most compromises, this new is far from perfect,” that they are willing to let their championships return to the state.
“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,” a press release read.
“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.”
The NCAA says that a marjority of the Board of Governors “reluctantly voted to allow consideration of championship bids in North Carolina by our committees that are presently meeting.”
The old HB2 law, called more fully the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, mandated that people must use the bathroom or locker room that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificates in all government buildings. The state-wide law was in response to a law passed by the city of Charlotte that did just the opposite – banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation of gender identity.
The new law, HB142, says that until 2020, says that government entities are not able to enact rules on bathrooms, showers, or changing rooms and bans local governments from enacting or amending an “ordinance regulating private employment practices or regulating public accommodations” until December 1, 2020. In effect, the new law repeals both HB2 and the Charlotte law, returning the state to where it was pre-2016: without any specific laws on who is and is not allowed to use which bathrooms.
Read more on CNN here.
Lawmakers say that they intend the 2020 date to give federal regulators and the national debate time to develop.
While the NCAA will not return any of its 4 remaining championships to the state this season (Divsion I women’s golf regional, Division III men’s and women’s tennis championships, Division I women’s lacrosse championship, or Division II baseball championship) to the state, that all scheduled 2017-2018 events will remain as planned, pending any new developments.
3 prior championships (Division I women’s soccer, Division III men’s and women’s soccer, and Division I men’s basketball first and second rounds) were previously played in other states.
The ACC, who followed the NCAA’s lead in pulling its championships, including the ACC men’s and women’s swimming & diving championships, from North Carolina, has not made an announcement as to what they plan to do, but are expected to come to a similar conclusion as the NCAA. The ACC is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Other sporting events moved from the state include the NBA All-Star game, which was relocated to New Orleans.
Politifact has estimated that fallout from the HB2 bill was between $450 million and $630 million to the state in the form of lost jobs from companies cancelling plans there, and several entertainment events both in and out of the world of sports that pulled out. CNN estimates that the ACC ban cost the state $77.1 million in direct spending on sporting events, with the ACC swimming & diving championships having a $72,000 impact on Greensboro.