NCAA to Relocate Multiple Championships from North Carolina for 2016-17 Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2016

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24: The NCAA's 'March Madness' logos are seen on chair backs during the West Regional Semifinal of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Honda Center on March 24, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Lance King/Getty Images

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 ChampionshipCaryDec. 2, 4
2016 Division III Men's and Women's Soccer ChampionshipsGreensboroDec. 2-3
2017 Division I Men's Basketball Championship (First and Second Rounds)GreensboroMarch 17, 19
2017 Division I Women's Golf Championships (Regional)GreenvilleMay 8-10
2017 Division III Men's and Women's Tennis ChampionshipsCaryMay 22-27
2017 Division I Women's Lacrosse ChampionshipCaryMay 26, 28
2017 Division II Baseball ChampionshipCaryMay 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 Board of Governors views North Carolina differently from states that have similar laws for these reasons: https://t.co/SO8vNsvCPE

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:

Luke DeCock @LukeDeCock

NCGOP statement: "I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor." https://t.co/umReUqplOz

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:

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

ACC football title game, however, will still be there -- as of now. If you're asking why, you're not alone. https://t.co/Q7htICb9yJ

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.


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