The ACC announced Wednesday that is following the NCAA’s lead, removing all championship games out of North Carolina for 2016-17, including the football title game that was to take place in Charlotte on Dec. 3.
"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," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "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."
North Carolina’s House Bill 2 is best know for requiring visitors to schools and other government facilities to use bathrooms of the corresponding gender on their birth certificates, not the ones they may identify with. It also includes a state-wide law that prohibits local governments from passing protections that run counter to that law.
Along with football, the ACC also pulled its women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, mens and women’s golf and baseball championships.
"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," that group said in a statement. "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."
Said Clemson’s James Pe. Clements, the 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."
The NBA had already moved its All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans, and the NCAA followed suit, removing seven events in soccer — Division I women’s in Caray and Division III men’s and women’s in Greensboro — basketball — men’s first- and second-round games in Greensboro — golf — Division I women in Greenville — tennis — Division III men’s and women in Caray — lacrosse — Division I women in Caray — and baseball — Division I, also in Caray.