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Bathroom law spurs NCAA to yank championship games out of North Carolina

Joel Berry II #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels, Justin Jackson #44, Isaiah Hicks #4, and Brice Johnson #11 react after being defeated by the Villanova Wildcats 77-74 in the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game at NRG Stadium on April 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas.
Ronald Martinez | Getty Images

The NCAA just took a stand against North Carolina's controversial bathroom law and pulled seven major championship games out of the Tar Heel state.

The NCAA announced its decision Monday evening, citing the "actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections."

The law (officially designated "House Bill 2") is the only statewide law in the country that makes it unlawful to use a restroom that is different from one's biological sex. It also overrules any local laws that treat sexual orientation as a protected class to prevent discrimination against LGBT individuals.

The NCAA board of governors said the dynamic in North Carolina "is different from that of other states" because it allows for government officials to legally refuse services to the LGBT community. It also noted that five states plus numerous cities prohibit travel to North Carolina for public employees and representatives of public institutions, which could include student-athletes and campus athletics staff.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said the NCAA will determine the new locations for these championships soon.

The seven championships that will be relocated from North Carolina for the 2016-2017 academic year include:

  • 2016 Division I Women's Soccer Championship, College Cup
    (Cary), Dec. 2 and 4.
  • 2016 Division III Men's and Women's Soccer Championships (Greensboro), Dec. 2 and 3.
  • 2017 Division I Men's Basketball Championship, first/second rounds (Greensboro), March 17 and 19.
  • 2017 Division I Women's Golf Championships, regional
    (Greenville), May 8-10.
  • 2017 Division III Men's and Women's Tennis Championships
    (Cary), May 22-27.
  • 2017 Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship
    (Cary), May 26 and 28.
  • 2017 Division II Baseball Championship (Cary), May 27-June 3.

University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings was not pleased with the NCAA's decision and lamented how it might affect North Carolina's athletics community.

"We are surprised and disappointed by the NCAA's decision and regret the impact it will have on North Carolina's student-athletes, coaches, athletic staffs, fans, and the North Carolina communities previously chosen to host these championship events," Spellings said. "We welcome a speedy resolution of these issues by the court."

By relocating its championship games away from North Carolina, the NCAA becomes the latest organization to take a stance against the state's controversial law since it passed it March.

  • More than 100 major CEOs and business leaders signed a letter in March opposing the "radical provisions" in HB 2.
  • Signees include: CEO Brian Moynihan of Charlotte-based Bank of America (one of North Carolina's largest corporate employers), Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter/Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
  • Paypal canceled plans in April to open a global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The center would have invested $3.6 million and created 400 new jobs in the area.
  • The NBA in July decided to move its prestigious All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans, also in protest of the state's new controversial laws.
  • Shack Shack founder Danny Meyer appeared on CNBC in April saying North Carolina's controversial "Bathroom Bill" would keep him from doing business in the Tar Heel state.
BofA's Moynihan: North Carolina bathroom law should be repealed