A new bill before the North Carolina legislature would force the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State to withdraw from the Atlantic Coast Conference if it stages another boycott by withdrawing championship games from the state.
Lawmakers proposed House Bill 728 on Tuesday, according to WNCN, and it states that if an intercollegiate athletic association boycotts North Carolina, then the University of North Carolina campuses that are a part of that conference would be prohibited from extending the grant of media rights to that conference. Duke and Wake Forest would be unaffected because they do not received state funds.
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“We’re taking this seriously and we’re not going to sit back idly and let them do whatever they want to North Carolina,” state Rep. Mark Brody (R) said.
The ACC moved championships out of North Carolina after the passage of HB2, the so-called bathroom law that required transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their birth gender, echoing the stance of the NCAA. When the law was repealed late last month, the ACC announced that it would consider the state as the site of future conference championships.
“This is a payback bill from people who supported House Bill 2,” said Rep. Graig Meyer (D).
After the repeal, both the NCAA and the ACC stated that they would begin considering bids from sites hoping to host championships.
The state paid dearly for the bathroom bill and boycotts, with the NBA pulling the All-Star Game out of Charlotte, PayPal and Deutsche Bank abandoning expansion in the state and a number of entertainers canceling concerts. An estimate from the Associated Press said HB2 would cost the state at least $3.7 billion in losses over a 12-year period following enactment of the law.