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The ACC to remove neutral-site championships from North Carolina due to HB2

John Swofford

Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford speaks to the media during the ACC Media Day in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, July 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)


The ACC announced on Wednesday that the conference will be relocating all neutral-site championships for the 2016-17 season from the state of North Carolina due to HB2.

The ACC Council of Presidents “reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination,” a statement released by the conference read.

“Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values [but] we believe North Carolina House 2 is inconsistent with these values.”

The most notable championship that will be moved this season is the ACC’s football title game, which was to be played in Charlotte. Baseball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s swimming and diving and women’s soccer will also be moved. The new locations will be announced “in the future” by the conference.

The amount of time it takes to plan for an event as big as the ACC’s football title game is significant. There’s a reason these things are announced so far in advance. With that game scheduled to be played in just two months, there are two points you need to understand:

  • The stand the ACC is taking here is significant. Not only are they moving the title game, they are moving it out of the state when the conference is based. The ACC’s offices are in Greensboro.
  • This wasn’t a decision solely in response to the NCAA’s decision yesterday. The process of finding a new home has likely been in the works.

The conference will allow championships that are played on campus sites to be played in the state.

“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount,” commissioner John Swofford said. “Today’s decision is one of principle, and while this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championship sites that will be negatively affected. Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.”

The ACC’s basketball tournament will be held in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center for the next two years and is scheduled to be played in Charlotte and Greensboro in 2019 and 2020, respectively.