CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced that North Carolina will host 26 NCAA-events between 2019-2022.
The announcement came Tuesday afternoon with bated breath after the NCAA announced two weeks ago that bids from North Carolina would once again be considered after the organization boycotted the state over House Bill 2.
The 26 events hosted in North Carolina break down into ten Division I hosted events, five Division II events, eight Division III events and three national championships. None of the events from 2019-2022 will be hosted in Charlotte.
The NCAA says it received more than 3,000 bid submissions and awarded 613 sites a NCAA event.
According to the NCAA, 43 states selected to host at least one round of a NCAA championship. Pennsylvania was awarded the most events with 53, Florida was awarded 51 and Indiana totaled 41.
In September 2016, the NCAA announced it was pulling all championship events for the 2016-17n season from North Carolina over issues from HB2.
The boycott of the state removed seven events from North Carolina, including the first- and second-round NCAA men's basketball tournament which was slated to be held at the Greensboro Coliseum last month.
In late March, lawmakers voted in support of a bill that would repeal House Bill 2. It was signed into law later that day by Governor Roy Cooper.
The NCAA Board of Governors later announced it had "reluctantly" voted to allow consideration of championship bids in North Carolina again. The board also announced any championship previously award to North Carolina for the 2017-2018 season would remain in the state.
That includes Charlotte, which is scheduled to host first- and second-round NCAA men's basketball tournament games in 2018.
Other North Carolina hosted tournaments for 2017-2018 will include:
- 2017 Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships (Greensboro)
- 2017 Division II Cross Country Regional (Wingate)
- 2018 Women’s Gymnastics Regional (Cary)
- 2018 Division II Men’s/Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships (Greensboro)
- 2018 Division II Men’s Golf Regional (Conover)
- 2018 Division I Men’s Golf Regional (Raleigh)
- 2018 Division III Men’s Golf Championship (Greensboro)
- 2018 Division I Tennis Championships (Winston-Salem)
- 2018 Division III Tennis Championships (Cary)
- 2018 Division II Baseball Championship (Cary)
The Board of Governors called the compromise to repeal HB2 "an important step forward for our state" but said the new law "minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment." They said more work needs to be done to provide statewide antidiscrimination protections for LGBT North Carolinians.
The deal reached between Cooper and Republican leaders repealed HB2, re-set bathroom access to pre-HB2 standards and also included a moratorium preventing local governments from passing their own non-discrimination ordinances through at least December 1, 2020.
Lawmakers have accused the NCAA, and the ACC which also temporarily pulled "neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year" while HB2 was in place, of meddling in politics.
Rep. Mark Brody, a Republican from Monroe, filed a bill last month taking aim at the then-NCAA and ACC boycotts of the state.
"There comes a time when the citizens of North Carolina need to stand up and say 'Enough of this foolishness'," Brody wrote in a Facebook post.
The bill, called the Athletic Association Accountability Act, requests that lawmakers ask the IRS to investigate whether the NCAA and the ACC violated their tax-exempt status "by engaging in political or lobbying activities." The bill was referred to the judiciary committee on March 14.
"The NCAA did not lobby for any specific change in the law. The Board of Governors, however, was hopeful that the state would fully repeal HB2 in order to allow the host communities to ensure a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for the championship sites," NCAA officials said Tuesday. "While the new law meets the minimal NCAA requirements, the board remains concerned that some may perceive North Carolina's moratorium against affording opportunities for communities to extend basic civil rights as a signal that discriminatory behavior is permitted and acceptable, which is inconsistent with the NCAA Bylaws."
"However, we recognize the quality championships hosted by the people of North Carolina in years before HB2," the statement continued. "And this new law restores the state to that legal landscape: a landscape similar to other jurisdictions presently hosting NCAA championships."
"I believe that the insinuation by the NCAA that they are rewarding us for good behavior is an insult to the people of North Carolina," Brody said in a statement after the NCAA's announcement that bids from North Carolina would be considered again. "This is the time, while it is still fresh in the minds of North Carolinians, to move aggressively forward with HB328, the Athletic Associations Accountability Act, and other similarly proposed bills to expose the hypocrisy in their policies, the abuse of athletes and athletics for money, the ignoring of or inaction from violations of academic standards and the inexcusable use of economic extortion as a way to force the will of the NCAA and/or the ACC. If we do not try and stop these abuses here and now, the next state that chooses to stand on their principles, will be subject to re-live the very situations North Carolina had to endure."
According to the NCAA, any site awarded a championship event in North Carolina or elsewhere be required to submit additional documentation demonstrating how student-athletes and fans will be protected from discrimination.