Fair or hypocrisy: NCAA prepared to severely punish North Carolina for “bathroom bill”

2016 Military Bowl, 27Dec2016, Wake Forest vs Temple; Photo: Anthony Moretti

2016 Military Bowl, 27Dec2016, Wake Forest vs Temple; Photo: Anthony Moretti

The Washington Post reports that North Carolina political leaders have been warned that if the so-called “bathroom bill” is not revoked to expect the NCAA to blacklist the state.

By one estimate, HB2 has cost the state between $77 million and $201 million in tourism and tax revenue (a number of business also canceled expansion plans in the state because of the law) and, according to a North Carolina group that recruits and promotes major sporting events in the state, that number will only go up because the NCAA is on the verge of keeping its major events — 133 of them — out of North Carolina through 2022.

“Our contacts at the NCAA tell us that, due to their stance on HB2, all North Carolina bids will be pulled from the review process and removed from consideration,” Scott Dupree of the N.C. Sports Association and Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance wrote in a letter that will be sent to members of the North Carolina House of Representatives and General Assembly. …

An NCAA drought through 2022 could cost the state $250 million in “potential economic impact,” Dupree writes.

Read this next sentence carefully before you decide to rip my head off.

I support the NCAA’s goals here, but the hypocrisy within that organization runs so deep that it is hard for me to rally support for the association.

The NCAA purports to have the student-athlete’s best interests in mind. If that’s the case, then would someone inside the NCAA explain to me why athletes are not paid, despite devoting roughly 25 hours a week to their sport; why contracts with television networks allow games to start as early as 11:00 a.m. to as late as 10:00 p.m.; why NCAA rules allow coaches to move from one job to another without any sanction but require athletes to sit out a year if they decide to transfer (unless they drop to a lower division); and why athletes cannot accept financial assistance for something as basic as buying books.

Oh, wait, I already know that answer. It’s because the athletes are amateurs and therefore shouldn’t be tainted by all that money and fame that comes with being a professional. They might die broke but at least they’ll still have their integrity!

So, let me see if I’ve got this right: I’m supposed to jump up and down and applaud the NCAA for threatening to blacklist North Carolina because political leaders in that state demonstrated an anti-gay attitude?

No, how about a politely clap but remind NCAA leaders that they really need to clean up their own nest.

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