The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that it would remove all neutral site championship games from North Carolina for the 2016-2017 season due to North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2. This move comes not long after the NCAA announced it was removing all NCAA championship games held in North Carolina.
Here are the sports affected:
- Women’s Soccer
- Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving
- Women’s Basketball
- Men’s and Women’s Tennis
- Women’s Golf
- Men’s Golf
Here is the statement from the ACC’s Council of Presidents:
“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.”
James P. Clements, President of Clemson University and Chair of the ACC Council of Presidents released this statement:
“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.”
Finally, ACC Commissioner John Swofford:
“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.”
The full impact this may have on Clemson sports and the ACC in terms of reneging on contracts it may have had with locations for this season is not fully known yet, but it’s likely there will be some cost associated with this decision.