North Carolina close to losing NCAA events over bathroom law: official
The NCAA will deny North Carolina lucrative hosting duties for college sports championship events through 2022 if the state does not change a law that restricts bathroom access for transgender people by Thursday, a local sports official said on Tuesday.
Scott Dupree, executive director for the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, said in a statement on Twitter that a “contact very close to the NCAA” had confirmed the impending deadline for a fix of the law commonly known as House Bill 2.
“If HB 2 has not been resolved by that time, the NCAA will have no choice but to move forward without the North Carolina bids,” Dupree said.
Asked for comment, NCAA spokeswoman Gail Dent did not respond to Dupree’s statement.
Instead, she referred to a statement by the governing body for U.S. college athletics last week on the one-year anniversary of the law. In it, the NCAA maintained its position that HB 2 did not assure a discrimination-free atmosphere for events.
North Carolina is the only state that bars transgender people from using government-run restrooms that match their gender identity. The measure also limits protection from discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Supporters of the law, passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature, say it is needed for public safety. Opponents decry it as unnecessary and discriminatory.
The measure spurred boycotts by corporations, conventions and concerts, as well as the relocation of the National Basketball Association’s 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte.
The NCAA stripped North Carolina of previously awarded championship events in protest of the law, including two rounds of this month’s Division I men’s basketball tournament.
Dupree has said the loss of six years’ worth of NCAA championship events would cost the state more than $250 million. Repeal efforts have failed.
“Absent any change in the law, our position remains the same regarding hosting current or future events in the state,” the NCAA said last week.
The organization said it would begin selecting sites this week and would announce the chosen locations for events through spring of 2022 on April 18.
(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Tom Brown)