The NCAA announced Tuesday it will return to North Carolina for championship events after the state reached a compromised repeal of HB2, the controversial law that came to be known as "the bathroom bill."
NCAA men's basketball first- and second-round tournament games will be held in Charlotte as previously scheduled in March 2018. The NCAA moved this year's first- and second-round games from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Greenville, South Carolina, in response to the passage of HB2, which mandates people to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex on their birth certificate in public buildings and places.
The new bill, HB142, was passed and signed by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper last week. The bill was seen as a compromise, but not overly accepted by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gay community.
"Last week's compromise was an important step forward for our state," said Cooper via statement. "While more work remains to be done, it's good news that the NCAA will be returning to North Carolina. We will continue our work with them to fight for statewide antidiscrimination protections for LGBT North Carolinians."
In its statement, the NCAA called the new law "far from perfect." The NCAA didn't lobby for a specific change in the law, but was hoping for a full repeal.
In the statement, the NCAA said: "In the end, a majority on the NCAA Board of Governors reluctantly voted to allow consideration of championship bids in North Carolina by our committees that are presently meeting. The NCAA championships previously awarded to North Carolina for 2017-18 will remain in the state."
The NCAA currently is considering sites for its championship events through 2022, something that was mentioned many times during the repeal discussions in the state legislature.
The ACC already said it would return to North Carolina after moving its football championship game from Charlotte to Orlando, Florida. The ACC men's basketball tournament is back in Brooklyn in 2018, but is supposed to return to Greensboro and Charlotte the subsequent two years.
The NCAA said that while assessing new sites, it must be assured no discrimination will exist. Any championship to be held in North Carolina must submit documentation that shows student-athletes and fans will be protected from discrimination.
The NCAA said it has been assured that the new law allows the organization to contract inclusive policies with communities, schools, arenas and hotels. The NCAA also said the new law should allow campuses to have their own policy against discrimination, including protecting LGBTQ rights, and for any current nondiscrimination ordinances to remain effective.
The NBA, which moved its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans in response to the passing of HB2, hasn't said whether it will return to the state.
A number of companies and musical acts also moved out of the state or canceled shows because of HB2.