The state of North Carolina is once again eligible to host NCAA championships, the governing body of collegiate sports said Tuesday morning in a statement.
The NCAA had pulled its championships at neutral sites out of North Carolina after House Bill 2 was passed in 2016. That move also threatened further championships in the state. Later this month, the NCAA will announce championship sites through 2022, and North Carolina cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh and Cary are heavily involved in pursuing those games.
With the NCAA deadline approaching, the North Carolina General Assembly repealed HB2 with a compromise and Gov. Roy Cooper signed the measure. On Tuesday, the NCAA raised some concerns about that deal but said it would still consider the state for sites.
“As with most compromises, this new law is far from perfect,” the NCAA said in a statement from its Board of Governors. “The NCAA did not lobby for any specific change in the law. The Board of Governors, however, was hopeful that the state would fully repeal HB2 in order to allow the host communities to ensure a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for the championship sites.
“While the new law meets the minimal NCAA requirements, the board remains concerned that some may perceive North Carolina’s moratorium against affording opportunities for communities to extend basic civil rights as a signal that discriminatory behavior is permitted and acceptable, which is inconsistent with the NCAA Bylaws.
“However, we recognize the quality championships hosted by the people of North Carolina in years before HB2. And this new law restores the state to that legal landscape: a landscape similar to other jurisdictions presently hosting NCAA championships.”
The NCAA move against North Carolina meant, for example, that NCAA men’s basketball games were moved from Greensboro to Greenville, South Carolina.
The announcement comes the morning after UNC Chapel Hill won the NCAA men's title in a championship win over Gonzaga.
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