Taking the "NC" out of NCAA

This is NOT a political column about what’s going on in North Carolina. God knows there are enough of those. TMG has its own opinions about the HB2 bill that was recently signed into law and subsequently caused a national firestorm.

We’ll be happy to discuss that over beers and pretzels at your local watering hole.

This is a column about actions, consequences and unintended consequences.

A state has the right to pass good and bad laws and people, corporations and public institutions have a right to respond.

The people of North Carolina had the legal authority, under their laws, to craft a bill they knew would be controversial. And that’s what they did. And guess what: Bruce Springsteen and other performers have the right not to perform there anymore.

You can agree, or disagree, with those decisions.

However, it should not come as a surprise that the NCAA, the governing body of a membership organization consisting of thousands of universities, would react by banning events in North Carolina.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

The law, also known as “the bathroom bill,” requires transgenders to use school and government restrooms based on the sex stated on their birth certificates.

Given the bill’s sensitivity, no one should be shocked the NCAA reacted the way it did. The organization is a hot mess of bureaucratic tangle, but also politically sensitive and bound by Federal Title IX laws that protect women from discrimination in intercollegiate sports.

The surprise would have been if the nose-pokers did nothing.

The NCAA, by the way, still won’t allow sanctioned championship events to be held in Nevada because gambling there is legal.

Is that hypocritical given that individual conferences are allowed to hold league championships in Las Vegas?


That said, the NCAA certainly has the right to be hypocritical—and we have the right to rip them for it.

It should also not come as a bulletin that the Atlantic Coast Conference, a subsidiary of the NCAA with headquarters in Greensboro, followed suit Wednesday and announced it is pulling all neutral-site events from the state.

“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “Today’s decision is one of principle, and while this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championships sites that will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.”

Wednesday's most important football news is that the ACC’s championship game will be moved out of Charlotte, a huge economic hit to the community.

Are the NCAA and ACC sanctimoniously wrong for getting involved in the politics of a state?

Some people certainly feel that way.

North Carolina GOP spokesperson on Monday put out a harsh statement in reaction to the NCAA’s decision.

“This is so absurd it’s almost comical,” Kami Mueller said. “I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams. Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms. The decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation…”

Some people might find Mueller’s statement absurd and almost comical, but isn’t it great she got to type that out and delivered it, unfettered, for public consumption?

People often confuse what freedom means.

The First Amendment protects your freedom of speech but not the consequence of it, or the reaction to it.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has the right to kneel during the national anthem, but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

People have the right to criticize him, boo him, and corporations have the right to cut their endorsement deals with him.

Southern states, for years, flew the Confederate flag over their statehouses.

Many people—particularly those of color—thought it was abhorrently wrong.

Yet, it has taken public pressure, over time, for many of those same states to reach a similar conclusion.

Mississippi State recently joined Ole Miss in removing its flag, which included a Confederate component, from campus grounds.

Actions have consequences.

North Carolina acted and the NCAA, and now ACC, have responded.

That’s “real” democracy, for better and for worse.[/membership]