NCAA returns events to NC after state rolls back LGBT law

Rebecca Barbier
Abril 19, 2017

The College Cup Division I championship rounds for men's soccer and women's soccer will alternate years in Cary from 2018-21, and the Division I women's field hockey championship will be held in Winston-Salem in 2019.

All told, it's a credible haul that puts North Carolina squarely in the upper percentiles of states hosting NCAA championships in this cycle, even if Pennsylvania, Florida and in all have more.

In the a year ago, the NCAA moved seven championship events out of North Carolina, including the opening weekend of the 2017 NCAA tournament. Those first and second round games were moved to Greenville, S.C.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed a compromise bill March 30 after it was approved by the Republican-controlled legislature.

The NCAA said it was reluctant to consider North Carolina again.

The new law repealed the issue over transgender bathrooms, but retained language from the original bill that kept local governments from enacting their own legislation that is inclusive of the LGBTQ community.

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Greensboro will host women's basketball tournament games in 2019, and men's tournament games in 2020.

North Carolina was awarded 10 different NCAA Division I events on Tuesday.

HB142 still allows for anti-LGBTQ discrimination in private employment and public accommodations, and leaves trans bathroom rights up to a hostile state government, barring local governments and schools from making such rules. "And this new law restores the state to that legal landscape: a landscape similar to other jurisdictions presently hosting NCAA championships".

N.C. State will host the 2022 men's and women's rifle championships. "In addition to protecting the broader LGBTQ community, the NCAA needs to clearly state how they will be protecting their student athletes, personnel and fans". The original law, HB 2, was replaced last month by a new law, HB 142, which continues to discriminate against transgender people. Greensboro, North Carolina, was chosen to welcome March Madness' first and second round in 2020. "North Carolina's new law does nothing to guarantee that LGBT people will be protected from discrimination" said James Esseks, director of the ACLU's LGBT and HIV Project. "It's a shame to see that those concerns have already fallen by the wayside".

"We want to thank everyone who submitted a bid for this cycle of championship site selections and for their continued commitment during the process", said Joni Comstock, NCAA senior vice president of championships. North Carolina got what it needed from the NCAA on Tuesday, but not what it deserved.

Some businesses withdrew plans for expansion, concerts were cancelled and the National Basketball Association moved the all-star game out of Charlotte to New Orleans. The gap was, in part, because the state of SC was shut out from any NCAA hosting opportunities until the Confederate Flag was removed from its State House.

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