The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced Wednesday that it would relocate neutral site championship games from North Carolina in light of House Bill 2 being 'inconsistent with their values.' The neutral site championships that are moving are:
- Women’s Soccer (WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, Nov. 4-6)
- Football (Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, Dec. 3)
- Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving (Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, Feb. 15-18, 22-25)
- Women’s Basketball (Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, March 1-5)
- Men’s and Women’s Tennis (Cary Tennis Park, Cary, April 26-30)
- Women’s Golf (Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, April 21-23)
- Men’s Golf (Old North State Club, New London, April 21-23)
- Baseball (Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham, May 23-28)
The ACC football championship had been held in Charlotte in recent years and the ACC Baseball Tournament had been held in Durham and Greensboro. The ACC's announcement comes a day after the NCAA ruled that it would relocate the first and second rounds of the NCAA Basketball Tournament from the Greensboro Coliseum.
The ACC is headquartered in Greensboro.
In an email sent Wednesday, the ACC Council of Presidents offered a statement:
“As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites. We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. All locations will be announced in the future from the conference office.”
John Swofford also offered a statement:
“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. 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 championship sites that will be negatively affected. Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.”
Clemson University President James P. Clements, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents:
“The ACC presidents engaged in a constructive, wide-ranging and vigorous discussion of this complex issue over the past two days. The decision to move the neutral site championships out of North Carolina while HB 2 remains the law was not an easy one but it is consistent with the shared values of inclusion and non-discrimination at all of our institutions.”
A joint statement from UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt and N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson:
"We appreciate the Council of Presidents’ reaffirmation of the ACC’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as the decision to keep ACC championship contests on our campuses. However, we regret today’s decision will negatively affect many North Carolinians, especially in the affected host communities."
"UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State remain steadfast in our commitment to welcoming and supporting all people. Our policies protect students, faculty and staff from discrimination, regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. As such, we remain dedicated to providing and promoting equal opportunity and non-discrimination to everyone who participates in athletic events on our campuses."
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