NCAA Says Why Charlotte Denied Tournament Games
CHARLOTTE, NC — The NCAA is explaining why Charlotte missed out on the next cycle of men’s basketball tournaments.
NCAA Director of Media David Worlock said Tuesday, “No doubt that Charlotte has the facility to host the Division I men’s basketball championship, and traditional host University of North Carolina-Charlotte has always done a terrific job serving as the host institution.
However, we must spread the tournament sites geographically and other cities in the Carolinas and in that general vicinity were chosen in this cycle so they could have the opportunity to host.”
The league announced Tuesday that it will hold tournament games in four North Carolina cities now that lawmakers repealed House Bill Two.
Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Cary will host dozens of NCAA tournament games from 2019-2022.
“They could make a lot of money,” said UNC Charlotte student, Spencer Jones.
The NCAA said in September it would pull games from the state because of House Bill Two, calling the law discriminatory for regulating the bathroom people who are transgender use.
The league reconsidered when lawmakers repealed the bill last month with House Bill.
“When the NCAA withdrew events from North Carolina, they said it’s because they believe in equality and inclusion. And under North Carolina law, not everyone would be protected from discrimination, and that’s still the case today,” said American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Communications Director Mike Meno.
UNC Charlotte submitted bids to host the men’s tournament at the Spectrum Center from 2020 to 2022.
Lobbying groups on both sides of the HB2 debate question the denial.
“Charlotte city council stood strong and said, we don’t believe in discrimination in any form.,” said Equality NC’s Matt Hirschy.
NC Values coalition, a strong supporter of HB2, wrote in part:
“Nondiscrimination laws in North Carolina—even under HB2—have always been similar to 29 other states and 10,000 other municipalities.”
“It begs the question: what is the criteria and how did they make these decisions, and did they talk to LGBT people when deciding?,” said Hirschy.
Cities had to submit questionnaires explaining to the NCAA how they regulate bathroom use.
WCCB Charlotte requested that information from Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Cary.
Cary responded by deadline Tuesday. To see that city’s questionnaire, click here.
The application says that city will provide single occupancy unisex facilities.
“Let the politicians do the politics let the basketball players play basketball,” said students like Jones.
Charlotte will host the first and second rounds of the men’s basketball tournament next year