The state of North Carolina is back in business with the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The conference on March 31announced the ACC Council of Presidents voted to again consider the state for future championships, after having already pulled 10 such games from the state in September in response to the state’s controversial HB2 law.
The state on March 30 apparently did enough to warrant that reconsideration, when Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed a compromise bill — HB142 — to replace HB2. The new bill, however, has been met with criticism among the LGBT community, saying it does not do a good enough to job to protect their civil liberties.
“We are pleased that ACC neutral site championships will return to the state of North Carolina beginning with the 2017-18 academic year,” ACC commissioner John Swofford saidin a Wednesday statement. “We value all of our partners in North Carolina and appreciate their support and cooperation. We are thrilled to renew our relationships with so many terrific people, outstanding cities and first-class venues.”
The conference on Wednesday further clarified its timetable to bring back championship events to North Carolina.
The conference’s football championship game will return to Charlotte, N.C., in December — the game was moved to Orlando for the 2016 season — and the women's basketball tournament will return to Greensboro in 2018. The men's basketball tournament,already scheduled for a two-year stay in New York,will return to North Carolina in 2019.
The NCAA on Tuesday also announced sites for several championship events through 2022.
"The board of governors have to determine whether this bill that was passed today was a sufficient change in the law," NCAA President Mark Emmert said after the repeal of HB2. "I'm personally very pleased they have a bill to debate and discuss."