NCAA to Reconsider North Carolina for Championships After HB2 Repeal

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 16: The NCAA logo is seen in the second half of the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 16, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NCAA Board of Governors voted to "reluctantly" consider bids by North Carolina to hold collegiate championship events after the state repealed HB2 and replaced it with HB142, which the governing body of college sports called "far from perfect."

An announcement posted on the NCAA's official website Tuesday stated championships scheduled to be held in North Carolina during the 2017-18 season will remain in place. Committees will ask for "additional documentation" about fair treatment on future bids from within 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.

Jason Hanna, Madison Park and Eliott C. McLaughlin of CNN reported the polarizing "bathroom law," which met immediate and consistent pushback from LGBTQ groups, was repealed last week. Those groups argue the new bill "still allows for discrimination against transgender people."

"For over a year now, House Bill 2 has been a dark cloud hanging over our great state," Gov. Roy Cooper said. "It has stained our reputation. It has discriminated against our people and it has caused great economic harm in many of our communities."

The NCAA announced last September it was removing all championships scheduled for North Carolina during the 2016-17 season—seven in total—due to the law.

Emery P. Dalesio and Jonathan Drew of the Associated Press reported last month the controversial law would have led to an estimated $3.76 billion economic loss over 12 years if left in place due to scrapped projects and cancelled events.

James Kleckley of East Carolina University told the AP it was difficult to find any positive impact from the since-repealed law.

"I don't know of any examples where somebody located here because of HB2," he said. "If you look at a law, whether or not you agree with it or don't agree with it, there are going to be positive effects and negative effects. Virtually everything we know about (HB2) are the negative effects. Even anecdotally I don't know any positive effects."

The NCAA Board of Governors said in Tuesday's announcement that North Carolina's future as a championship site is contingent on the state's "ability to ensure a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for all those watching and participating in our events."

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