Will an Anti-Transgender Law Prohibit North Carolina from Holding NCAA Events?

North Carolina has received a great deal of attention for many recent NCAA controversies. In January 2015, the NCAA and University of North Carolina were sued by two former student athletes for offering “paper classes.” The plaintiffs claimed the university failed to provide a “meaningful education” because it steered student athletes towards classes that involved little work, lenient attendance policies, minimal faculty interaction, lax writing standards, and high final grades. As a result of this lawsuit, the NCAA brought five breach of conduct allegations against the University for allowing its student athletes to participate in such unfair educational practices. However, at the end of last month, the University faced some relief when the NCAA removed the University’s men’s basketball and football programs from the allegations.

Nevertheless, this was not the end of North Carolina’s issues. Not only does the NCAA still allege preferential benefits were given to the student athletes that played in the women’s basketball team, but the NCAA also adopted a policy which may prevent North Carolina from holding NCAA events.

The NCAA recently adopted an anti-discrimination policy which requires any venue hosting a NCAA event to provide a discrimination free environment. The policy requires venues that are hosting or bidding to host a NCAA event to show how they will provide a safe environment that is free from discrimination and protects everyone at the event.

In the weeks before the adoption of the NCAA policy, North Carolina lawmakers passed an anti-transgender law. The law restricts transgender individuals’ access to restrooms and requires them to use the restroom belonging to the gender stated on their birth certificate.

Despite the many controversies raised by this new law, there is a great discrepancy over what sport events the state of North Carolina will be able host. North Carolina has been a recurring host for the NCAA’s March Madness Tournament, and this anti-transgender law has placed the state’s ability to host the Tournament into question. Although March Madness is a very popular NCAA event, that is not the only event subject to scrutiny by this law. Rather, North Carolina’s ability to hold any NCAA event is unknown.

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