The NCAA on Friday said cities looking to host future championship games must submit details by Aug. 12 about how they will protect participants from discrimination, a move that could hurt North Carolina’s chances of landing future games.
The announcement came one day after the NBA said it was moving the 2017 All-Star Weekend from Charlotte over a controversial North Carolina law known as House Bill 2.
Cities that have already been awarded games will face a separate questionnaire deadline, which will be determined later, the NCAA said. Greensboro is scheduled to host men’s college basketball tournament games in 2017, followed by Charlotte in 2018.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in March signed HB2, which mandates that transgender individuals must use the bathrooms in government buildings that correspond to the gender identity on their birth certificates. HB2, a reaction to a Charlotte ordinance, also sets a statewide definition of nondiscrimination that excludes gender identity and sexual orientation.
Passage of the law has caused sports organizations, performers and others to boycott the state. Supporters say the law protects individual privacy. The NCAA has said it’s monitoring events in the state.
In April, in response to actions by legislatures in North Carolina and other states, the NCAA’s Board of Governors adopted a new requirement for sites hosting or bidding on NCAA events in all divisions. The hosts must show how they will provide “an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination and also safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event,” the organization said.
Cities bidding for games now must complete a questionnaire from the NCAA detailing any local anti-discrimination laws. One of the questions asks: “Does your city, county/parish and/or state regulate choice of bathrooms or locker rooms that may affect student-athletes, coaches, administrators, or game officials during the Event?”
The NCAA said committees for each of its 90 NCAA championships will use the questionnaire information to ensure they award championships to cities that meet all hosting requirements.
“We are committed to providing a championship experience within an inclusive environment for student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans,” Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president for championships and alliances, said in a statement. “With the Board of Governors’ direction, we are taking steps to assure that anyone associated with an NCAA championship event will be treated with fairness and respect.”