North Carolina Fights Back: NC Legislators Propose Bill to Pull UNC, NC State From ACC if Conference Boycotts Again

A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathroom on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina
Sarah D. Davis / Getty

A group of North Carolina lawmakers have decided to play hardball with LGBT activists and their minions in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

This week, some North Carolina lawmakers filed a bill which would require UNC and NC State to pull out of the ACC, should the conference decide to boycott the state again.

The ACC had revoked North Carolina’s ability to host championship events, in response to the HB2 law which stated that people had to use the bathroom facilities that correspond to their assigned gender at birth.

After North Carolina repealed certain elements in the HB2 law, the ACC reinstated North Carolina’s right to host championship     games. However, rightly upset by the ACC doing the bidding of LGBT activists and interfering in state policy, some North Carolina lawmakers have initiated an effort to ensure such interference does not happen again.

According to ESPN, “…House Bill 728, filed Tuesday, which states any public state school in a conference that boycotts North Carolina would be barred from “extending any grant of media rights to the conference” and “shall immediately provide written notice to the conference that the constituent institution intends to withdraw from the conference no later than when the assignment of its media rights expire, unless the conference immediately ends the boycott.”

“Now these conferences, they’re going to have to think twice about doing a boycott, especially for something that’s as out of their core mission as they did trying to influence legislation of the General Assembly,” said Rep. Mark Brody, one of the primary sponsors of the bill. “If they do it again, now they’ll know there will be a price to pay.”

ACC Commissioner John Swofford reacted to the bill by saying, “I would expect NC State and the University of North Carolina as founding members of the ACC to be in the ACC for many, many years to come.

“I don’t think the schools are talking about pulling out by any stretch of the imagination. Our conference is going to act in ways that our council of presidents deems are appropriate in terms of its values and that’s how the league will be run. That’s how the league has always been run and will be in the future. I think you’ll see the ACC at 15 strong for many, many years to come.”

Of course, if Representative Brody’s bill passes, it won’t matter whether anyone at UNC or NC State is “talking about pulling out” of the conference in the event of another boycott. The schools would face a legal mandate to pull out, or face the very real prospect of losing their state funding.

Whether or not the bill passes remains to be seen. For now, the bill will advance to the House Rules Committee. Should it pass there, it will go to a vote before the full House before moving on to the Senate.

The loss of a school like UNC would crush the ACC. The Tar Heels, the current national champions, rank among the highest grossing teams in terms of revenue, and they have a very large national following. Should the Heels have to leave the ACC, every major conference in the country would fight to bring them aboard.

While it’s entirely possible, and maybe even probable that the bill will not pass, Representative Brady and his co-sponsors deserve a lot of credit for proposing it. Mostly, for reminding everyone that the elected officials of North Carolina make the laws in North Carolina, not the ACC.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn


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