The NCAA on Monday announced its decision to relocate seven championships from the state of North Carolina because of civil rights concerns, per a statement on its official website:
Based on the NCAA's commitment to fairness and inclusion, the Association will relocate all seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year. The NCAA Board of Governors made this decision because of the cumulative actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections.
Here is a look at the seven championship events that will be moved, including games from the 2017 Division I men's basketball tournament:
|Championships Moved from North Carolina|
|2016 Division I Women's Soccer Championship||Cary||Dec. 2, 4|
|2016 Division III Men's and Women's Soccer Championships||Greensboro||Dec. 2-3|
|2017 Division I Men's Basketball Championship (First and Second Rounds)||Greensboro||March 17, 19|
|2017 Division I Women's Golf Championships (Regional)||Greenville||May 8-10|
|2017 Division III Men's and Women's Tennis Championships||Cary||May 22-27|
|2017 Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship||Cary||May 26, 28|
|2017 Division II Baseball Championship||Cary||May 27-June 3|
NCAA President Mark Emmert discussed the decision, per the statement:
Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships. We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.
In the statement, the Board of Governors stressed NCAA championships need to be inclusive. State laws in North Carolina that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals make it difficult to ensure that is the case.
The NCAA pointed to four factors in its decision to move its championships out of the state, which it shared on its Twitter page:
The NCAA statement also noted there is historical precedent for the organization to make sure the environment for its championships meets these standards. It does not hold championships in states where the government displays the Confederate flag or at schools that use "hostile and abusive Native American imagery," per the NCAA's statement.
Kami Mueller, a spokeswoman for the NCGOP, responded to the NCAA’s decision, via Luke DeCock of the News & Observer:
While the NCAA will move seven championships, the 2016 ACC football championship was not included among those. The game is set to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press commented on the fact it is still scheduled:
The NCAA's announcement came after the NBA elected to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte in the face of North Carolina's House Bill 2, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Zillgitt wrote the law "bans local municipalities from enacting non-discriminatory ordinances designed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."
The 2017 All-Star Game will instead be held in New Orleans.
As for the NCAA, Emmert noted the organization will decide on new locations for the seven championship events in the near future.