ACC announces it will consider North Carolina for championships after HB2 repeal

The ACC decision comes less than 24 hours after Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 142, a compromise law that passed through the state legislature Thursday repealing House Bill 2 - the so-called "bathroom bill" - and replacing it with a slightly less severe law.

College basketball's governing body pulled first and second-round games out of Greensboro, N.C. because of House Bill 2 and instead awarded them to Greenville, S.C., depriving Greensboro and North Carolina of an estimated $3.5 million in revenue and diverting that windfall to SC instead.

The law sparked a backlash from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, but also a swath of boycotts from a number of businesses, organizations and entertainers.

While the National Basketball Association has yet to comment on the state's decision, NCAA President Mark Emmert told reporters Thursday that the organization's board will now vote on whether to reconsider North Carolina.

State lawmakers were spurred into action this week after the NCAA said it would pull championship games through 2022 unless changes were made to the law this week.

(AP Photo/Brian Blanco). Rep. Michael Speciale, R- Craven, debates on the floor of the the North Carolina State House prior to a vote on HB 142 on Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina lawmakers voted Thursday to roll back North Car. "And then they have to wait and see whether or not the Board of Governors will determine whether or not this bill that was recently passed today is a sufficient change in the law for the board to feel comfortable going back to North Carolina".

HB2 supporters argued that the law was needed to preserve people's privacy and protect them from sexual predators.

The men's basketball tournament, perhaps the league's signature event, was already slated for the second in a two-year stay in Brooklyn, New York, before returning to North Carolina in 2019 (Charlotte) and 2020 (Greensboro). "I think we've kind of side stepped the issue to a degree", Miller said.

"Many of the provisions of HB142 carry forward problematic portions of HB2", the group's North Carolina legal director Chris Brook said. "This law does not repeal HB2, it doubles down on discrimination", said Cathryn Oakley HRC Senior Legislative Counsel at a press conference in Raleigh Thursday morning before the votes.

IBM, which has a large Raleigh-area operation, "opposed North Carolina's H.B.2 because it discriminates against people for being who they are".

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina released a statement Thursday morning criticizing the compromise, saying it "uses the rights of LGBT people as a bargaining chip". In the past one year, the state has taken financial hits such as PayPal's cancellation of plans to open a new global operations center in Charlotte, which would have added about $2.66 billion to the state economy. Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger called the new deal to repeal HB2 a "significant compromise". The NCAA and ACC had moved events from the Tar Heel state due to HB2. "It's a state, obviously, that in many ways is synonymous with college sports".

  • Larry Hoffman