With The 'Bathroom Bill' Repealed, North Carolina Gets Basketball Back

The NCAA is bringing sporting events back to North Carolina after state lawmakers repealed large portions of the controversial "Bathroom Bill" - although the collegiate sports organization isn't exactly enthused about the deal. The new legislation, according to the athletics association, "minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment". Last summer, the NCAA pulled its 2016-17 championship games from North Carolina because of HB 2's provisions regulating bathroom use and nullifying local ordinances that sought to protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination. That has the NCAA concerned about potential problems as it prepares to award championships from 2019 to 2022, and could lead the tournament to skip North Carolina in favor of one of its neighbors.

Perkins said the Texas Privacy Act is similar enough to what HB142 represents that the Texas legislature should not hesitate to pass its bill in the face of the fear of losing the 2018 Final Four set for San Antonio, Texas, and potential future events in Dallas and Houston.

"As with most compromises, this new law is far from ideal", according to the NCAA statement.

In September 2016, the NCAA moved seven championship events (including a slate first-round mens' basketball tournament games) out of North Carolina, saying that state laws at the time "make it challenging" to guarantee that athletes, coaches, and fans among others could enjoy an inclusive atmosphere at the events.

House Bill 142 repealed House Bill 2 entirely, stating that only the General Assembly can regulate access to multiple-occupancy bathrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities.

Over the course of a year, amid a heated presidential and gubernatorial election campaign, pressure mounted on North Carolina officials to repeal or modify HB2.

Cooper, who signed the replacement bill last week, said it was clear that the NCAA had wanted a complete repeal of House Bill 2, as did he. (The law came about after Charlotte passed just such an ordinance.) It also requires people to use the public restroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate.

The conference said after the compromise was reached its upcoming events would remain in place and the football title game would return to Charlotte. "We will continue our work with them to fight for statewide antidiscrimination protections for LGBT North Carolinians".

"The NCAA's decision has put a seal of approval on state-sanctioned discrimination", Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, told NBC News.

The University of North Carolina won the men's NCAA championship Monday night.

While all indications are the NCAA and ACC looked favorably upon the compromise, neither NCAA President Mark Emmert nor ACC Commissioner John Swofford was willing to come out and say that Thursday.



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