ACC Relocating Neutral-Site Championships for 2016-17 Season

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

Mar 22, 2015; Notre Dame, IN, USA; A view of the ACC logo on the key before the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the DePaul Blue Demons in the first half of the game at Edmund P. Joyce Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC is joining the list of sports organizations to take a stand against North Carolina's controversial HB2 law.

Per USA Today's Nicole Auerbach on Sept. 14, the ACC will relocate all of its neutral-site championships from North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year.

The ACC's move came two days after the NCAA announced it would be relocating seven championship events that were previously awarded to North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year.

On Sept. 29, Orlando was named the new host for the ACC football championship game, per John Taylor of College Football Talk. Auerbach did note on Sept. 14 that the ACC's decision meant this title game scheduled for Dec. 3 in Charlotte would be moved.

On Tuesday, the ACC released a full list of new championship sites, via Zach Barnett of Football Scoop:

Zach Barnett @zach_barnett

ACC releases list of new championship sites following North Carolina boycott. https://t.co/imAQtTs6Kd

Per the NCAA's Sept. 12 announcement, the board of governors noted those events "must promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans," but that current state laws in North Carolina "make it challenging to guarantee that host communities can help deliver on that commitment."

ACC Commissioner John Swofford explained the conference's decision in a statement released on TheACC.com:

The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount. Today’s decision is one of principle, and while this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championship sites that will be negatively affected. Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.

The Carolina Panthers released a statement on the decision:

Carolina Panthers @Panthers

Statement on ACC Decision https://t.co/M1HoONgwQZ

The conference's official site noted the seven neutral-site championships events that will be moved include football, baseball, women's soccer, women's basketball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, and men's and women's swimming and diving.

In addition to the recent action from the ACC and NCAA, the NBA announced in July it was moving next year's All-Star Game away from Charlotte in response to North Carolina's HB2 law.

The house bill passed through the North Carolina legislature in March and includes discriminatory policies against LGBT people by preventing them from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.


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