"HB 142 was a cheap political trick that did nothing to alleviate the concerns the NCAA initially outlined when it pulled games from the Tar Heel state previous year, and even adds new forms of discrimination to North Carolina's laws", Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro said.
The NCAA has announced its preliminary round sites for the 2019-22 NCAA Tournaments, and that includes a return to hosting games in North Carolina. It was signed into law later that day by Governor Roy Cooper. Central to their argument is that North Carolina General Assembly's attempt to "repeal" the HB2 law through passage of another law unjustly bans cities in the state to issue their own protections for transgender citizens to use restrooms.
UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham said he appreciates what the return of championship events could mean economically for communities in North Carolina. Greensboro Coliseum has hosted 63 NCAA men's tournament games, which is fifth most in tournament history. "And this new law restores the state to that legal landscape: a landscape similar to other jurisdictions presently hosting NCAA championships".
The replacement bill was a compromise between those who supported the initial incarnation of HB2 and those who wanted it repealed but lacked sufficient seats in the state legislature to do so.
A little less than a year ago, the NCAA drew praise for a new policy requiring its championship host sites to commit to protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes and attendees. It also will retain men's NCAA tournament games previously earmarked for Charlotte in 2018.
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Gray pledges to be a "willing partner" for the new administration. "I thought that the country would wake up at some point". If no one wins 50 percent of the vote plus one, the top two candidates will face off in a June runoff.
Charlotte is scheduled to host first- and second-round NCAA men's basketball tournament games in 2017-2018.
According to the NCAA, any site awarded a championship event in North Carolina or elsewhere be required to submit additional documentation demonstrating how student-athletes and fans will be protected from discrimination.
If North Carolina did not get a bid Tuesday, experts said it could've caused the state at least $250 million over the next five years. "It's a shame to see that those concerns have already fallen by the wayside".
The NBA jacked this year's All-Star Game from Charlotte and relocated it to New Orleans due to the law as well. The thought was that the NCAA would keep its strict stance going forward, but North Carolina's lawmakers, and perhaps other economic factors, allowed for unprecedented leniency. Those first and second round games were moved to Greenville, S.C.